U.S. Markets closed

China in focus as West debates critical minerals challenge

By Barbara Lewis

* Supply chains are the new oil pipelines

* Consultancy says West's position is 'precarious'

By Barbara Lewis

LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Western powers will attend talks in Brussels next week on curbing China's dominance of rare earths and other critical resources and EU officials will present their vision to create entire green supply chains.

The talks, on Nov. 19, have taken place annually for much of this decade, bringing together diplomats and industry representatives from the European Union, Japan and United States.

They have yet to weaken China's power, especially over rare earths, and global trade tensions aggravate the problem.

But the European hosts are persevering. As net importers of most minerals, the European Union in 2011 was among the first to compile a critical raw materials list.

As battery minerals and consumer demands for sustainability have climbed the agenda, Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic says the EU strategy is to support development of entire supply chains, where possible on EU territory, based on ethical production.

Economic success relies on progress.

The European Commission estimates the EU battery market will be worth up to 250 billion euros ($275.5 billion) annually from 2025.

"The position of the West is precarious," Simon Moores, managing director at consultancy Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, said. "These supply chains are the oil pipelines of tomorrow."

Minerals are deemed critical because of their economic importance, scarcity and the risk of supply disruption, criteria that vary from country to country.

But all governments judge rare earths - a group of 17 elements with electronic and magnetic properties - key because of their role in high-tech, low-emission economies and defence.

The minerals are not rare, but processing them and finding them in sufficient concentrations is problematic.

While the West wrestled with trying to produce profitably, China increased output aggressively and then in 2010 imposed export quotas, causing a price surge.

A World Trade Organization (WTO) case in 2014 found against China, but its dominance continues, chiefly because it can ignore economic imperatives.

Michel Rademaker, a specialist at the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies in the Netherlands, said a solution is to accelerate production outside China.

He cited the Norra Karr rare earths deposit in Sweden, which could supply Europe's needs for more than two decades.

That project is owned by Leading Edge Materials of Canada, which for the first time will be an observer nation at the talks, joined by Australia, which has previously been an observer. The mining nations present their skills and resources as a solution.

Leading Edge CEO Mark Saxon said the company was working to get approvals to develop the Swedish deposit. In Europe environmental standards can make that a long process.

Europe's lack of mining "requires discussion as a priority," he said.

($1 = 0.9074 euros) (Reporting by Barbara Lewis; editing by David Evans)

  • Mark Cuban: Where the ‘frothy’ market goes from here depends on one thing
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Mark Cuban: Where the ‘frothy’ market goes from here depends on one thing

    “Interest rates were a lot different back then,” he continued. Cuban said that, with so much money pouring into index funds, the landscape is completely different from back then. A day earlier, fellow billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, from the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, said we are currently in the “craziest monetary and fiscal mix in history,” and, at least to him, it's reminiscent of 1999.

  • Young trader’s epic Beyond Meat stock misfire: ‘Biggest mistake of my life’
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Young trader’s epic Beyond Meat stock misfire: ‘Biggest mistake of my life’

    For veteran Wall Street types, $12,000 is a rounding error, but for a guy getting his feet wet in the options pits, losing that much will leave a scar. Unfortunately, that's what happened this week to an anonymous trader whom we'll call “Juice,” if the sob story he shared on Reddit is accurate. “I thought I'd give options a try because I was doing pretty well swing trading and it was probably the biggest mistake of my life,” he wrote in a post.

  • I’m 38 with $315,000 saved for retirement, but have $30,000 in debt. Should I lower my 401(k) contributions to get rid of that debt?
    Business
    MarketWatch

    I’m 38 with $315,000 saved for retirement, but have $30,000 in debt. Should I lower my 401(k) contributions to get rid of that debt?

    Dear Catey, I currently have about $315,000 in retirement savings and am 38 years old. I have about $30,000 in consumer debt (this is the only debt we carry, no car payment or mortgage) — about $24,000 of which is an unsecured loan that I'm paying about 10% interest on; the rest is on credit cards that are on a 0% promotional period and that I hopefully pay off before the 0% period expires in October 2020. I'm trying to pay down my debt and continue to save aggressively for retirement…I've made minimal improvements over the past couple of years paying down my debt and continue to play the balance transfer game on credit cards to retain 0% interest rates or other low rate options.

  • Johnson & Johnson misses revenue estimates
    Business
    Reuters Videos

    Johnson & Johnson misses revenue estimates

    Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday posted a rare miss on revenue, marking the first time in at least eight quarters that the healthcare giant fell short on sales expectations. While sales did rise to $20.75 billion for the quarter, analysts were looking for $20.8 billion. But intense competition for key drugs like Zytiga, a prostate cancer drug, coupled with pressure on prescription drug prices in the U.S, have weighed on J&J's pharmaceuticals unit...

  • ‘Taxpayers are leaving millions of dollars off their returns.’ Why Americans repeatedly overlook this lucrative tax credit
    Business
    MarketWatch

    ‘Taxpayers are leaving millions of dollars off their returns.’ Why Americans repeatedly overlook this lucrative tax credit

    Some 44% possibly eligible for the credit — by making less than $40,000 a year — were not aware of it, according to a new survey from the tax preparation company Jackson Hewitt. More than half of the same group either said they did not qualify (20%) or didn't know if they qualified (33%), according to the survey. The results reinforce past research on lagging claim rates for a program that was started 45 years ago.

  • Business
    Benzinga

    8 Stocks To Buy With Dividend Yields Of At Least 9%

    Fortunately, there are plenty of stocks out there with generous dividend or distributions yields that analysts see as good investments as well. Here are eight stocks to buy with at least 9% yields, according to Bank of America. TCG is a business development company, a type of closed-end investment company that invests in small and mid-sized businesses.

  • Beyond Meat Stock Falls On This Red Flag For Fake Meat
    Business
    Investor's Business Daily

    Beyond Meat Stock Falls On This Red Flag For Fake Meat

    Beyond Meat stock dropped Wednesday after news of slowing sales for top rival Impossible Foods raised fears of weaker demand for fake meat overall. Carrols Restaurant Group, which is the top U.S. franchisee of Burger King with over 1,000 locations, said Impossible Whopper sales have fallen to 28 per store per day from 32 previously, according to Bloomberg. While sales have stabilized, the Impossible Whopper has been added to the two-for-$6 discount menu temporarily vs. the suggested price of $5.59 per burger.

  • Boeing's new 777X test aircraft taxis hard before first flight (VIDEOS)
    Business
    American City Business Journals

    Boeing's new 777X test aircraft taxis hard before first flight (VIDEOS)

    UPDATE: Boeing said Wednesday evening that the 777X first flight has been postponed until Friday because of bad weather. An Everett aviation enthusiast captured Boeing's 777X test aircraft taxiing hard down a Paine Field runway several times Wednesday prior to the widebody jet's first flight. Plane spotter Jennifer Schuld, a full-time nurse by profession and recreational airplane spotter, recorded the 777X taxi tests from a spot adjacent to a runway near the Boeing factory.

  • JPMorgan: 3 High-Yield Dividend Stocks to Snap Up Now
    Business
    TipRanks

    JPMorgan: 3 High-Yield Dividend Stocks to Snap Up Now

    It's not that they are necessarily incompatible – rather, it is just that the highest growth stocks tend to achieve their appreciation by plowing profits directly back into the company. The natural place to look is in sectors with high cash flows and essential products. Investment bank JPMorgan released a special report on the North American energy industry, emphasizing just these attributes – the rising production, the high cash flow, and the fundamental strength of the industry to survive a prolonged period of low prices.

  • How 5 of America's Richest Families Lost It All
    Business
    MoneyWise

    How 5 of America's Richest Families Lost It All

    Some of America's oldest family fortunes were built in the 1800s, during the nation's rocky but formative youth. The Rockefellers grew wealthy after John D. Rockefeller struck oil, and Levi Strauss got rich after inventing blue jeans as work pants for the Gold Rush days. Such losses -- which can happen in just one generation or stretch out over a century or longer -- are often driven by bad decisions, such as overspending and debt; investments that didn't pan out; and family infighting over the money.

  • How To Invest $100,000 (and Turn It Into $1 Million)
    Business
    SmartAsset

    How To Invest $100,000 (and Turn It Into $1 Million)

    As you invest for retirement, becoming a millionaire might be a reasonable goal. Yes, millionaire status is no longer rarefied air, and depending on your income needs, having at least $1 million in the bank might be necessary to last you through retirement. If you're interested in reaching millionaire status as an investor, here's what you need to know to pull it off.

  • Head of U.S.’ largest bank says central banks are fueling a sovereign debt bubble, negative-rates won’t ‘end well’
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Head of U.S.’ largest bank says central banks are fueling a sovereign debt bubble, negative-rates won’t ‘end well’

    Jamie Dimon doesn't have much positive to say about negative interest rates in Europe and Japan or public policy in the United States during the past decade. The JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Chairman and CEO blasted the policy of negative interest rates adopted in Europe and Japan during an interview Wednesday with CNBC, while arguing that economic growth in the U.S. could have been nearly double its actual rate if the government policy had been better. Dimon took aim at fiscal and other economic policies in place at the U.S. federal level.

  • Business
    Barrons.com

    Hess and 5 More Energy Stocks That Could Cut Their Dividends, According to an Analyst

    Meyer is particularly concerned about companies that produce a lot of natural gas because the price has been falling and could continue to drop. Meyer identified two stocks— (HES) and (ARX)—that she says have a “a sizable risk of cutting their dividends over the next 1-2 years. Hess (HES) has a dividend payout ratio of 362% of expected 2020 profits, according to Meyer, meaning the company is planning to pay out far more cash to investors than it is earning.

  • AT&T Finds a New Way to Help Grind Down Its Debt Mountain
    Business
    Bloomberg

    AT&T Finds a New Way to Help Grind Down Its Debt Mountain

    While that's a higher interest rate than nearly any loan AT&T could have received, the one significant advantage is that the $6 billion doesn't add to its $165 billion debt pile. This is a bit of a surprise for a high-grade-debt company like AT&T,” said Dave Novosel, an analyst with Gimme Credit. AT&T representatives declined to comment on the tower-receivables entity, citing a quiet period ahead of its earnings report later this month.

  • Business
    Barrons.com

    IBM Stock Rose More Today Than in the Last 10 Years. It’s Time For A Shake-Up.

    For the year to date, IBM shares have rallied a solid 7.4%. Steve Milunovich, tech strategist at Wolfe Research, took a look at IBM shares (ticker: IBM) in a research note Wednesday morning and advised investors to put the fourth-quarter performance into perspective. The divergence says more about Microsoft than it does about IBM, Milunovich said in an interview Wednesday.

  • Bernie Sanders Reacts to Hillary Clinton's Comments Saying 'Nobody Likes Him'
    Politics
    Meredith Videos

    Bernie Sanders Reacts to Hillary Clinton's Comments Saying 'Nobody Likes Him'

    Hillary Clinton says “nobody likes” her former presidential rival Bernie Sanders, even as the Vermont senator remains entrenched among the front-runners in the Democratic race

  • Dow Jones Futures: After Stock Market Pause, These 5 Top Stocks Move On News
    Business
    Investor's Business Daily

    Dow Jones Futures: After Stock Market Pause, These 5 Top Stocks Move On News

    Dow Jones futures were little changed Wednesday, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures, after the stock market rally largely erased intraday gains. Texas Instruments, Teradyne and Citrix Systems reported earnings, while PayPal reached a key China payments deal. Paycom stock will join the S&P 500 index.

  • What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most Nokia Corporation (HEL:NOKIA) Stock?
    Business
    Simply Wall St.

    What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most Nokia Corporation (HEL:NOKIA) Stock?

    The big shareholder groups in Nokia Corporation (HEL:NOKIA) have power over the company. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

  • Tesla Stock Surge Continues With Fourth-Quarter Earnings Coming Up
    Business
    Investor's Business Daily

    Tesla Stock Surge Continues With Fourth-Quarter Earnings Coming Up

    Tesla stock shot up to a record high Wednesday as the electric-car company reached a market valuation above $100 billion for the first time and gets set to report fourth-quarter earnings next week. Tesla overtook Volkswagen as the second most valuable auto company. The market cap of Tesla, at about $102.5 billion, is above General Motors and Ford Motor combined.

  • Business
    Benzinga

    Costco CEO Talks Special Dividend, Membership Fees In CNBC Interview

    Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) CEO Craig Jelinek told Jim Cramer in an interview aired Tuesday how the company is able to both offer consumers low prices and pay employees a higher than average wage. Costco offers consumers "great prices" because of its unique business model, Jelinek said. The company's stores are specifically designed to keep overhead costs as low as possible.

  • Is Exxon Stock A Buy Right Now? Here's What Earnings, Stock Chart Show
    Business
    Investor's Business Daily

    Is Exxon Stock A Buy Right Now? Here's What Earnings, Stock Chart Show

    Exxon Mobil stock has been trending lower since last spring, but the Dow Jones oil major is pushing ahead with big shale investments and seeing production surge from the Permian Basin. Is Exxon stock a good buy? Take a look at Exxon earnings and the XOM stock chart.

  • These 10 Rules Made Warren Buffett a Billionaire
    Business
    MoneyWise

    These 10 Rules Made Warren Buffett a Billionaire

    Warren Buffett may be worth tens of billions, but he still lives simply, and his strategies for smart investing and amassing wealth aren't too complicated either. Buffett's first key to prosperity has little to do with picking stocks. "Without good communication skills, you won't be able to convince people to follow you even though you see over the mountain and they don't," Buffett once told a Stanford MBA student.

  • Intel’s volatile forecast, Comcast’s changing cycle and airlines’ Boeing drama take earnings stage
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Intel’s volatile forecast, Comcast’s changing cycle and airlines’ Boeing drama take earnings stage

    Intel (INTC) investors suffered a choppy ride last year, after the chip maker set its forecast at the start of 2019, lowered it three months later, then brought it back up again toward the end of the year amid production challenges, a leadership transition and resurgent competition from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD) That amount of drama is not normal for a chip maker long seen as untouchable by rivals and consistently successful to a level of almost being boring.

  • The stock market is on steroids and it could end up like the dot com bubble: top money manager
    Business
    Yahoo Finance

    The stock market is on steroids and it could end up like the dot com bubble: top money manager

    Skybridge Capital co-CIO Troy Gayeski makes a hell of a lot of sense to this journalist pounding the pavement in Davos at the World Economic Forum. It's because Gayeski's (who is an upbeat guy by nature based on our interactions in the past) take on the markets is rationale and appears to be where we are headed thanks to a helping hand of interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve. Gayeski is quick to point out that the Fed slashed interest rates three times and expanded its balance sheet in 1998.

  • Business
    Reuters

    Investors extend largest pullback from U.S. stock funds since 2016

    Investors pulled $4.5 billion out of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that hold U.S. stocks last week, extending the longest consecutive pullback from the domestic stock market since the spring of 2016, according to data released on Wednesday by the Investment Company Institute. The retreat from the U.S. stock market came despite a rally that has pushed the S&P 500 to record highs on the strength of corporate earnings and widespread expectations the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates this year. The S&P 500 is up 3% for the year to date, more than double the performance of any comparable developed market in Europe or Asia, according to Refinitiv data.