Invesco Powershares has launched an exchange traded fund following an index of US closed-end funds, offering investors more than 8 per cent annual yield paid monthly.
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Positioning data from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, often used as a proxy for hedge fund activity, showed investors raised their short positions in sterling to 62,884 contracts, worth $6.1bn, in the week to February 23. This was up from 56,079 in the previous week.
Agricultural products were latecomers to the past decade’s commodities ball. The Dow Jones-UBS Commodity industrial metals and oil indices started soaring by early 2006. Their agricultural counterpart didn’t get going for another year or so. And while the likes of oil and copper still trade well above their averages since 1972 in real terms, the likes of wheat and corn are below them according to Deutsche Bank.
If you think that the upcoming energy shortage is going to be bad, it will pale in comparison to the next water crisis. Investment in fresh water infrastructure is undeniably going to be a recurring long term investment theme. One theory about the endless wars in the Middle East since 1918 is that they have really been over water rights. Although Earth is often referred to as the water planet, only 2.5% is fresh, and three quarters of that is locked up in ice at the North and South poles.
Marc Faber appeared on Bloomberg today to talk stocks and currencies. Not surprisingly, he’s negative on US equities, and though he thinks the euro could rebound in the short-term (because it’s so oversold) he says there’s nothing good about the currency and that it could fall a lot further.
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Political doubts provoke a sharp fall in sterling
Yet the worst may be over. Figures out this week show that the economy grew at an unexpectedly fast annual rate of 3.2% in the last quarter of 2009, after barely growing in the third quarter and shrinking in each of the three previous ones. Mr Gordhan has based his budget on a fairly cautious growth forecast of 2.3% this year rising to 3.2% next year and 3.6% in 2012. That is in line with other forecasts, but it is not nearly fast enough for the government to achieve its goal of c