News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Commodities shorts at 10-year high; Vale taps $US3b from credit lines to bolster liquidity; and renewed iron ore inquiry push hits government opposition.

Lou Caruana

Commodities shorts at 10-year high

The Bloomberg Commodity Index, a measure of returns for 22 raw materials, has tumbled more than 4% in 2016, according to the Australian Financial Review.

That's the worst start to a year since the comparable data begins in 1992. Hedge funds are positioning for more losses, holding the biggest net-short bet across raw materials since at least 2006.

Vale taps $US3b from credit lines to bolster liquidity

Vale, the Brazilian iron-ore mining giant, is withdrawing $US3 billion from pre-approved credit lines to boost liquidity as it works to sell assets amid slumping metals prices, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company will also use the money, which is part of a $5 billion revolving credit program, to amortise bonds maturing in the first quarter of 2016, according to a statement released on Tuesday. It didn't disclose interest paid in the tranche, nor its maturity.

Vale had $1 billion in notes issued in 2006 with a 6.25% coupon that matured on Monday.

Renewed iron ore inquiry push hits government opposition

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has reignited his push for a senate inquiry into Australia's iron ore industry, blaming the nation's major miners for “killing off” last year's efforts to examine the factors behind the iron ore price collapse, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In Perth to promote his West Australian candidate for the next federal election, Senator Xenophon accused the former Abbott government and the Labor Party of lacking the “courage to stand up to the big end of town”

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