Monday, January 3, 2011
Gold futures finished the year with a 10th consecutive annual gain amid expectations for new record highs next year. The metal closed firmly above the $1,400 mark on the last trading day of 2010 and locked in a 29.7% gain for the year, the largest in three years.
A weaker dollar boosted gold prices Friday, as dollar-denominated gold appears cheaper to buyers using foreign currencies when the dollar eases.Currency concerns have been a major factor funneling investment funds towards the yellow metal throughout 2010. Worries about the financial health of some euro-zone nations and large stimulus spending in the U.S. resulted in a particularly volatile year for both the euro and the dollar. That left investors seeking a safe harbor in gold, which is often seen as an alternative currency.
Gold also has benefited from global inflation concerns. Chinese investors ramped up their gold purchases throughout 2010 as inflation picked up, even as the government implemented a number of measures to slow economic growth and rein in prices.
Silver futures ended the year at a new 30-year high Friday, up 83.7% this year. The metal has gained from spillover investment demand as gold soared outside of some investors' budgets.The most actively traded silver contract, for March delivery, settled up 1.4%, or 42.4 cents, at $30.937 per troy ounce.
Copper ended 2010 at a record, locking in a near 33% gain for the year amid dollar weakness and thin trading volumes.
The dollar fell in light volume Friday, as thin year-end markets diminished trading appetite and provided little incentive to purchase the U.S. currency on the final trading day of 2010.
A spate of figures on manufacturing, home sales and unemployment on Thursday painted an encouraging picture of a gradual U.S. economic recovery. However, the data proved insufficient to help the dollar sustain upward momentum, as it slid to a new record low against the Swiss franc at CHF0.9331.
The euro was also a beneficiary of the dollar's bearish price action. In European trading hours the euro rose to a two-week high at $1.3391, changing hands around $1.3365 in early U.S. trading and up more than 2/3 of a cent from Thursday's close.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also lent the single currency some support after she said that the euro formed the basis of European prosperity and called for a strengthening of the currency. Some analysts say the U.S. currency's weakness in the waning days of the year may be a bearish indicator for 2011.
The yen remained buoyed by investment flows from Japanese exporters seeking to purchase yen for year-end positioning. Against Japan's currency, the dollar bought Y81.30, down from Y81.56 late Thursday and its weakest level in seven weeks. The euro changed hands around Y108.66, slightly stronger than late Thursday's Y108.33.
With ongoing concerns about sovereign debt, the dollar should remain supported in 2011, especially amid recent evidence that it remains a favored reserve currency for developing countries, some analysts say. On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund released a report showing that the dollar share of developing countries’ new official reserves rose in the third quarter.
European stock markets ended a generally solid year on a down note.
Both the U.K. and French markets fell 1.2% in a shortened final session. While the FTSE 100's close of 5899.94 left the U.K. benchmark with a gain of 9% for the year, the CAC 40 fell 3.3% over 2010 to 3804.78.
The German market was closed Friday. The DAX advanced 16% in 2010, benefiting from a remarkable rebound in the country's economy and exports over the course of the year.
The Stoxx 600 Europe shed 0.4% to 275.81, leaving it up 9% for the year. While the index has climbed 40% over the past two years, it remains 32% below its record closing high of 405.50 set more than a decade ago, on March 6, 2000.
Europe's gains for 2010 were helped by solid demand from emerging markets and a quicker-than-expected recovery in the U.S. But worries about the financial health of some of the euro bloc's 16 nations plagued several markets and banks, and will remain a key theme in 2011.
The Ibex 35, went down 17%, while Italy's FTSE MIB fall 13%.In Athens, the ASE lost 0.7% to 1413.9, bringing losses for the year to 35%. Greece was the first euro nation to receive a bailout. Ireland has since followed, and speculation has spread to Portugal and Spain.
For the year, the auto sector was the top performer in the Europe Stoxx 600 index, gaining around 44%, as investors sought stocks directly connected to emerging-markets growth.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's yearly gain is in the books: a rise of 1,149.46 points, or 11.02%—its second annual rise in a row and fourth in the past five.
On Friday, it was a quiet ending to a positive but bumpy year, as the Dow closed up 7.80 points, or 0.07%, at 11577.51. Almost half of the 2010 climb came in the year's final month; the index rose 5.2% in December.
The Dow came close to ending 2010 at a fresh closing high for the year, if it had closed above 11585.38, it would have reached its highest close since August 2008.
The Nasdaq Composite shed 10.11, or 0.4%, to 2652.87, leaving it with a 17% gain for the year. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index edged down 0.24, or 0.02%, to 1257.64 on Friday, the S&P 500 Index rose 13 percent in 2010, bringing the advance since March 2009 to 86%.
While 2010 was positive for stocks, it was anything but smooth. Investors were spooked by events such as the May 6 "flash crash" and ongoing worries over the financial health of several euro-zone governments. A new $600 billion stimulus plan from the Federal Reserve and improving economic data helped the market recover from a summer slump, with stocks ultimately reaching highs not seen since before the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
Friday, December 31, 2010
The Definitive Guide to Middle East Funds - News, Analysis, Rankings...
google doodle will definitely get us thinking.
There are also fireworks in the background of the logo to welcome the New Year.
This time, the google doodle has evoked a lot of interest with their queer way of representing the New Year. Nevertheless, it has garnered enough attention to set social networks and twitter breaking out into a guessing game. Everyone went crazy guessing what GMMXIE meant.
The google doodle is an experiment of Google to play with their official logo.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Early life and background
Zintaanti was born into a Hindu Rajput family from Rohru in Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh. Her father, Durganand Zinta, was an officer in the Indian Army. He died in a car accident when she was 13 years old; the accident also involved her mother, Nilprabha, who was severely injured and consequently remained bedridden for two years. Zinta called the tragic accident and her father's death a significant turning point in her life, which forced her to mature rapidly. She has two brothers; Deepankar and Manish, a year older and a year younger respectively. Deepankar is a commissioned officer in the Indian Army, while Manish lives in California.
Zinta, who describes herself as a tomboy as a child, has emphasised her father's military background as having a lasting impression on how family life was conducted. He asserted the importance of discipline and punctuality to the children. She studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary boarding school in Shimla. Although she confesses to loneliness in the boarding school, she noted that it was compensated by her finding a "... perfect set of friends" there. As a student, a love for literature, articularly the works of William Shakespeare and poetry. According to Zandiinta, she enjoyed schoolwork and received good grades; in her free time she played sports, especially basketball.
Upon graduating from the boarding school at age 18, Zandiinta enrolled at St Bede's College in Shimla. She graduated college with an English honours degree, and then started a graduate programme in psychology. She earned a postgraduate degree in criminal psychology, but later took up modelling. Zinta's first television commercial was for Perk chocolates, the result of a chance meeting with a director at a friend's birthday party in 1996. The director persuaded Zinta to audition for the spot, and she was selected. Afterwards, she appeared in other catalogues and commercials, including one for the soap Liril.
Bollywood actress Preity Zinta will soon be working with Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio and British supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Well, the three stars will not get together for an upcoming film but to create awareness on the perils of tiger poaching. According to reports in the media, Preity Zinta has joined international celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Campbell in a project which works towards saving the tiger.
It is true that the number of tigers in India and around the world have been decreasing at a very fast pace, largely on account of the lessening of jungles and shrubbery and the changing environmental conditions
. And this is exactly what Preity Zinta, Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Campbell want to preach during their extensive tours to various tiger reserves around the world. The threesome were also the celebrity faces at the Global Tigers Initiative organized by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in his country.
The dimpled Bollywood beauty may have taken a sabbatical from acting, but she is making full use of her time globe-trotting to create awareness on the tiger saving project and has also become the brand ambassador of a couple of well known companies.
Preity Zinta is also an avid user of Twitter and several posts over the past couple of weeks point to her association with the tiger saving campaign.
Preity Zinta has made the country proud by trying to protect India's national animal. When will you do your bit to save the paltry 1409 tigers that now exist in India?
Source : Santabanta