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TL;DR If there's ever a time to really influence Fallout 76 at all, Bethesda's upcoming B.E.T.A. will be the best chance to do it. With that said, it will probably be best if you refine and reflect on your thoughts about the game now, so you actually have something to judge the beta by, to see if the product is everything you hoped for, and if it isn't, try to introduce some of your ideas to Bethesda while the iron is (probably) hot. Good luck. B.E.T.A. -Bethesda Actually Wants Your Feedback "...getting people to embrace, guys this game is constantly going to be evolving and changing. It's going to change the days and weeks and months after launch all the time, based on player feedback and what people are saying.It's going to change a lot based on the B.E.T.A and people playing in the B.E.T.A.It's going to change a lot in the next month with us playing it internally, and continuing to try... o.k.... now we tried this system a little like this, o.k. now it works like this... Which one feels better, which one feels worse?" - Pete Hines We all want Fallout 76 to be a fantastic game. We all have different ideas about what a fantastic Fallout 76 game entails; hence the vicious infighting and down voting wars we have seen crop up over the last several weeks. But this is Bethesdas game and at the end of the day, they will be the ones who decide what this game should and will be like when it rolls out on November 14th. Luckily, as we all know, BGS has decided to host a B.E.T.A, which all who pre-order are cordially invited to participate in. If you want your powerful, innovative and brilliant ideas to be woven into the fabric of Bethesda's creation, the upcoming B.E.T.A launch will be the single most important time for you to voice your suggestions and concerns with this game, if there is any other time to do so. We either speak then, or forever lodge our ideas and complaints on Reddit or Bethnet and have them completely ignored. With that being said, I'd like to prepare you and show you how to make the most of your B.E.T.A experience, and help Bethesda make Fallout 76 the hit it deserves to be. Expectations - These Are the ABC's of Betas I myself have never been in a beta before, so I asked those who have about their typical beta experiences in this post. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of what we can expect, I feel it is a good gauge of what you can expect and prepare for. Why prepare now? That will be answered shortly:
Purpose: The purpose of betas are to break games early, as the B.E.T.A is so aptly named, so that when the official launch comes around the finished product is solid and sealed tightly by learning what doesn't work and what isn't sticking together. This means that you the beta player will undoubtedly be exposed to numerous bugs and glitches that are atypical of a BGS title. Missing faces, floating snallygasters, unlimited cap glitches... But brand new to the Fallout franchise in this game are server problems stemming from tons of players inhabiting the same virtual world; having the game freeze when too many players are building this or doing that at the same time, being kicked back to the main menu because too many of you were in the same area during a lightning storm or something. Stuff like that. Your feedback and your suggestions will be instrumental to exposing and stress testing these issues for Bethesda, and fun.
Time Frame: Obviously the B.E.T.A won't last forever, the final product has to launch on 11/14/18. This means that whenever Todd Howard decides to launch the B.E.T.A and send you your S.P.E.C.I.A.L email giving you instructions to access the game - like Willie Wonka and the golden tickets to his Chocolate Factory - your time will be limited to taste the game and give feedback and suggestions to make the taste better. This is why it's important to know what you are getting into and all that you are able to experience, and potentially influence. You can decide what you really care about and focus on those things or make sure to spread your experience out to encounter everything under the time limit. There is no sure answer until Bethesda announces their B.E.T.A plans, but from the answers I've gathered the typical game beta last about 2 Weeks. Bethesda could make it 4 weeks, or 1 week, but 2 weeks is the general consensus. As u/Transientmind pointed out to me, whatever time frame Bethesda chooses could easily be divided up between specific days and/or times of day; Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 9:00am to 5:00pm, with servers being inaccessible in-between. So knowing your availability, the betas availability and what you want to focus on plays a big part in making the most of your B.E.T.A. experience, otherwise, you might miss your chance.
Available Content: While many game betas include all that there is to experience in a game or world space, some of them don't, restricting the player to the first portions of the main quest and only offering a small sampling of miscellaneous side quest. While I can't tell you what will or won't be in the B.E.T.A for sure, I can tell you to expect at least that. Alternatively, given how massive BGS titles are, FO76 in particular, everything may be available, but extremely difficult to experience given the volume of content inherent in the game. It should be said that you might want to anticipate the progress you make during the B.E.T.A to be wiped to level the playing field between other players at launch.
Feedback Mechanisms: As far as the actual feedback process is concerned, their are a variety of methods Bethesda has to collect your thoughts. One is forums such as fo76 or the ones at Bethesda.net, with specific areas set up specifically for feedback. They may designate an email address to send suggestions or complaints to. Or, what I personally believe they will do, is integrate pop up surveys into the B.E.T.A experience, gated by different milestones such as becoming hungry or thirsty, modding a weapon, quest completions, area exploration/exit, PVP interactions, death, level-up, etc. Bethesda could implement all these methods, or none of them, but these are the things typically done in betas for feedback.
Suggestions: The good stuff. Aside from providing feedback about bugs, balance and gameplay mechanics issues, we get to throw our 2 cent in on how we think Fallout 76 should be. Keep in mind that BGS is a professional video game juggernaut, and it is entirely possible that all of our ideas have already been cooked up by them and are sitting in folders or computer files. In the grand scope of things, our suggestions are probably just data points; how many people are requesting a more hardcore experience, how many people feel it's stupid to take damage from a pool cue or bloatfly while in power armor? In theory, the louder the noise for a specific feature, the more chance that feature might be implemented. Again, knowing what you really care about in this game is important for the B.E.T.A. If you formulate your positions now, you will be able to contrast them with the beta product, and if they differ greatly, you might want to put the word out to Bethesda where you disagree. But if you put no thought into this and just go in, you'll be able to give feedback, but will it be the feedback that's really important to you? And another thing, this late in the game, Bethesda isn't dealing with a half cooked product, it will probably be the finished game + bugs and faulty mechanics. While I'm not telling you to keep a lid on your bright ideas, it will probably be best for you if you tried to work your ideas in to the fabric of what Bethesda has already created, instead of telling them to scrap entire systems so they could put your untested, unformulated ones in. I think we should lean towards tweaks and innovative additions versus overhauls and requesting for a buttload of new models and textures for this and that.
Non Disclosure Agreement: I was told that this beta will be open, so that all things tested and discovered may be shared, but Bethesda didn't tell me that, so, as all Fallout YouTubers like to say, take that with a grain of salt. If there is an NDA requirement in the beta, let me tell you right now it's not worth it to break the conditions Bethesda sets; you can get booted from the beta, blacklisted from participating in future betas and if you somehow cause damage to BGS, legal action likely can and will be put on the table. I can't imagine it looks good to anyones friends or significant others getting sued over a video game. So go with the flow, alright?
Categories - Everything You Can Expect to Encounter and Critique in FO76 To help you guys out, I've edited the category of mods found in Fallout 4 to give you a solid idea of the features of the game you can look forward to inspecting and hopefully impacting with all of your cool, creative ideas. As Fallout 76 will be very similar to Fallout 4, we can expect that many of the same aspects modders and Bethesda identified as categories for that game will be the same aspects present in FO76. I suggest all parties seeking to be involved with the B.E.T.A treat this list as a checklist by which to record your own ideas and decide which aspects are really important to you. I will probably add description to the categories in a few days but I don't think you actually need me to figure out what they are about. Or I might actually record my own thoughts and recommendations as a prototype.
Karmic System: Bethesda's Fallout games have a longstanding karma system. Since so much of a fuss is being raised about griefers or people with "bad karma", I figure Bethesda should embrace their karma system in the context of Fallout 76 by giving players with good and bad karma pros and cons to regulate and control things like excessive griefing with aggressive rubber banding that makes griefers suffer more when somebody does to them what they like to do; kill other players for blood sport and/or take their stuff. This works together with my loot system ideas. Since people who are wicked always seem to get ahead in life above others, people with negative karma should gain experience faster than normal and receive better auto generated loot from other players, along with ears, which could increase their perception and action point generation. On the flip side, the more bad their karma gets, the critical hit damage they take from players with good karma is increased, and when they do take a beating from a good character, their xp gain is temporarily slowed to slower than normal. While players with good karma would level up slowly and receive normal autogenerated loot, they could receive massive experience points for killing bad karma characters and the ability to take their fingers, allowing the player to increase max ap and charisma.
Loot System: Another related and hotly despised subject. I know it's touchy, but I believe that this can be implemented in a way that doesn't set players back too much, yet still provides the realistic satisfaction of having gotten loot from other players who are now effectively NPC's. I suggest that upon death, player characters drop 40 of their available caps, meds, chems, food, and/or water. If the same player gets killed and looted again shortly after the first time, only yield 20% of said items. The next time 10%. 5%. 2.5%. And so on and so forth. Player weapons, armor and power armor should be off limits to be looted, except to those who earn the reputation of griefers, and the more players grief, the available loot they drop on death can jack up to 100% of their inventory. In order to avoid exploitation, players who are friends with each other or teamed up should not be able to kill themselves to reduce their loot drop so they can go screw with other players without fear of dropping their stuff. Killing a player after trading with them should jack the players bad karma all the way up and that should stick with them for a long time, including the vulnerability to critical hits from good karma players, across servers. A good karma player with high luck, the right gun or on overdrive could probably wreck a bad karma player under this system. I also cooked up the idea to allow player to create survival caches like Dean Domino did in the Sierra Madre for hidden supplies, weapons and armor and cap stashes for players to offload large amounts of caps and hide them incase other players are nearby and the player fears loosing their stuff before getting back to camp. These stashes would appear on the players map. Or players could simply trade with other players through third party vending machines. Last but not least, auto generated loot. It doesn't have to be weapons or armor, it could be mods for weapons and armor as well. The quality of course would depend on the players level. Or it could be maps or notes or quest holotapes the player has already found.
Hardcore Servers: Bethesda has mentioned that private servers will become available sometime after launch, and that got me thinking on a solution for one of the rifts in the community: Hardcore Survival. If there were specific servers set apart that played by more hardcore rules, players with an itch to experience grueling punishment could opt to join on with others who feel the same. Other players more interested in softcore survival could stick to the main servers. Progress could be kept between hardcore and software modes.
The Last of Us MP Factions Style Finisher Executions: Real time executions that could make up for the lack of slomo finishers given FO76 won't allow time slowing. This idea could be monetized by Bethesda as well with Creation Club MTX's for different character themes. Choosing to execute these finishers could be entirely optional, and only available once an enemy player is downed.
Alfred Hitchcock Preset: I thought Bethesda would have for sure enabled Fallout 4 players to play in a black and white world with all of the Twilight Zone vibes, but that wasn't an option. A modder created a mod called Hitchcock presets for it though. I suppose modders will do it again, but, I wonder if Bethesda would be interested in creating a Twilight Zone mode similar to FONV's Wacky Wasteland feature in the settings menu.
Hair and Face
More Diverse Character Creation: As some have joked, most of the players we see will probably look exactly like the main presets. Given that there are millions of players and not all that many character creation choices, it might be a problem. More specifically, I am begging that Bethesda add more hair choices for melenated people. In every Fallout game, Africanoid people are given 3-4 hairstyles that fail to live up to how great our hair is. There's never any short hairstyles with crisp line ups and deep waves. There's never any taper fades. There's never any hairstyles that showcase our deep curls when we moisturize and style our naturally curly hair. Our braids are awesome, and there are a variety of styles. We love full, lined up beards with a fade design too. Bethesda wouldn't just be doing us a favor, other cultures and people love adopting our styles and trends too.
Items and Objects - Player
Skyrim Holotape Game: FTW, of course.
Items and Object - World
Models and Textures
Realistic Power Armor: I don't imagine people will be too excited about having power armor that actually does what it looks like it does, but I'm sure hardcore fans would love this. If you've ever been killed by a bunch of insects, or taken significant damage from a baseball bat while in power armor, and it pissed you off, then you already recognize the need for power armor that actually protects you from trivial crap. My take on realistic power armor is that as long as the health of the armor pieces stays above a certain percentage, the player should take no damage at all, unless armor piercing or extremely high caliber weaponry is used. Creatures like rad roaches should cease to do damage to you period, even if the armor gets damaged. The more advanced the suit of power armor is, the more damage its pieces can take before you start to take damage, so X-01 could sustain around 60% to 70% damage while T-45 can take 20% to 30% damage before you start feeling the pain. To counter how powerful this kind of power armor is, I'd suggest taking a nod from Some Assembly Required and making power armor extremely rare to come across and harder to repair. The problem I see is that players are so sensitive right now about anything remotely challenging, especially other players, they'll most likely reject an idea like this on sight. That's why I'd recommend an idea like this be implemented on a hardcore server that plays by different rules than a softcore server.
Skills and Leveling
Target Practice Leveling: I don't know how many BGS games have included firing ranges or practice dummies of some sort in their games to role-play with, but without the ability to actually gain experience from practicing on them. Why put them in at all if its not functional? It doesn't have to be full experience and it doesn't have to be uncapped, but this would be a cool feature gameplay and role-play wise for new players to level up. Maybe even grant small perks that enable players to draw and holster weapons a little bit faster, aim faster and shoot more accurately as long as they frequently practice?
Unique, Uniques: There are some pretty amazing Fallout 4 mods out there that make legendary weapons actually look legendary with heavy customizations. I want to be able to heavily modify a weapon so much in function and appearance it actually becomes legendary. Like, if I had an AntiMaterial Rifle, I want to be able to make the scope reticle a broken heart, with bleeding heart decals on the stock, and I'd name the weapon "The Heart-Breaker" and have the weapon do more critical hit damage on enemy torsos; the heart. This would call for tons of textures and customization options being developed over time, and I don't expect something like this to be added in at launch, but if this was a Creation Club creation down the line I'd buy it.
And that, is all I have for you right now ladies and gentlemen. These are the breaks and what you can probably expect going in to the B.E.T.A. I hope it helps you make the most out of your B.E.T.A experience and get some of your cool ideas into the game. Peace.
USD (DXY) up 0.00%, EUR up 0.18%, GBP down 0.11%, JPY up 0.01%, CNY Onshore down 0.41%, CNH Offshore down 0.42%, AUD down 0.40%
VIX down 1.22% to 9.75
Gold up 0.06% to $1,283.60
Silver up 0.08% to $16.84
Copper up 0.43% to $294.20
WTI Crude up 1.15% to $52.74
Brent Crude up 0.90% to $58.42
Natural Gas down 0.07% to $3.06
Corn down 0.35% to $3.53/bu
Wheat down 0.11% to $4.61/bu
Bitcoin up 2.42% to $4,255.00
Treasuries 2yr yields are up ~1.2bps at 1.483%, 10yr yields are up ~3.6bps at 2.346% and 30yr yields are up ~3.3bps at 2.896%
Japan 10yr yields 0.057%, up ~2.8bps on the day
France 10yr yields 0.792%, up ~3.3bps on the day
Italy 10yr yields 2.153%, up ~1.6bps on the day
Spain 10yr yields 1.634%, up ~0.8bps on the day
Germany 10yr yields 0.501%, up ~3.7bps on the day
What’s happening this morning? There wasn’t any major news out overnight (once again). Most of the financial media is discussing themes and trends that have been present for weeks – reflation sustainability, inflation firming, central bank tightening schedules, expansionary fiscal policies (US, Germany, Japan, etc.), US politics (prospect of tax passage, etc.), etc. A lot of the commentary seems to have a skeptical tone with regards to the weeks-long reflation moves and this doubt continues to act as kindling for the recent market shifts (positioning and sentiment are playing a role too, esp. as we head into the final days of the month and quarter – recall many had prepared for the SPX to trade poorly in H2:Aug but the opposite happened and the index is now up ~3.7% from its 8/21 low. This has undoubtedly spurred some chasing along the way). As far as Thurs morning trading, things are relatively subdued this morning. Asia’s major indices saw mixed price action – TPX +0.71%, NKY +0.47%, Hang Seng -0.8%, SHCOMP -0.17%, Taiwan TAIEX -0.29%, Korea KOSPI +0.02%, Australia +0.11%, and India +0.1%. There weren’t many huge themes in Asia although the USD rally is creating some anxiety (the DXY surged Mon-Wed and is flattish so far Thurs). Tech stocks in Taiwan were mixed-to-down small. Europe’s major equity indices are flat-to-up small. Banks remain the big upside standouts (both in Europe and the US) as this group more than any other encapsulates the global reflation sentiments (banks, tech, industrials are outperforming in Europe this morning while basic resources, retail, and utilities lag. H&M is one of the weakest stocks in Europe on back of earnings while the USD strength is hitting basic resources). The Treasury weakness continues as 10yr yields rise a further ~3-4bp so far Thurs morning (10yr yields are higher throughout Europe too). US S&P futures are flat-to-down small.
Calendar of events for Thurs 9/28 – the focus will be on German inflation for Sept (8amET), the BOE “20 Years On” conf. in London (at which Carney will speak), US Q2 data revisions (8:30amET), US advance goods trade balance for Aug (8:30amET), Fed speakers (George, Fischer, Bostic), Gary Cohn’s interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box (during the 8amET hour), Paul Ryan’s interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Brady’s comments on tax reform, analyst meetings (AEE and AFL), and earnings (ACN, BBRY, CAG, MKC, MTN, and RAD pre-open and KBH and SGH after the close).
Calendar of events for Fri 9/29 – the focus will be on the China Caixin manufacturing PMI for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning), the German jobs data for Sept (3:55amET), Eurozone CPI for Sept (5amET), US personal income/spending for Aug (8:30amET), the US PCE for Aug (8:30amET), the Chicago PMI for Sept (9:45amET), the final Michigan Confidence numbers for Sept (10amET), Fed speakers (Harker), and analyst meetings (CMP).
Calendar going forward – there aren’t many major scheduled events on the calendar until CQ3 earnings (the week of 10/16 is the first busy one of the season) aside from a few eco numbers (including the US Aug PCE Fri 9/29 and the US Sept jobs report Fri 10/6). The market largely appreciates that tax will be a CQ1:18 event and thus isn’t looking for anything substantive on that front over the coming months. The next big monetary policy events include the ECB (10/26), BOE (11/2), and anything on the Fed staffing front (i.e. when does Thy God-Emperor Trump make a decision on Yellen?).
Top Headlines for Thursday
US politics – there wasn’t anything incremental overnight but a ton of postmortem articles were published on the events this week (tax unveil, Alabama run-off, Corker retirement, healthcare failure, etc.). The tone of most of these articles is cautious with regards to the outlook for the GOP and the party’s agenda – “Alabama defeat weakens and isolates Thy God-Emperor Trump as his problems grow” (http://wapo.st/2xDxquK), “Bannon focused on repeating Alabama, challenging incumbent Republicans across the country” (http://politi.co/2ybnL1C), “Political disruption helps fuel GOP’s woes” (http://on.wsj.com/2wYIYH4), “Tues was a disastrous day for the whole GOP” (http://on.wsj.com/2fsuf0C), “GOP pitches deep tax cuts, w/few details on paying for them” (http://wapo.st/2yuPgPV), “ Thy God-Emperor Trump/GOP tax plan omits details on who pays” (http://politi.co/2yvcKEH), “ Thy God-Emperor Trump and his congressional allies are about to make the trajectory of debt even worse” (http://on.wsj.com/2fsuTLB), etc.
Sen. Bob Corker says tax reform will make healthcare look like ‘a piece of cake’ – The Hill http://bit.ly/2wlgLus
Healthcare/ACA – insurers decide to stay in the ACA exchanges for ’18 despite fears of broad exits – WSJ http://on.wsj.com/2yIx4D8.
TWTR more effective than FB in disrupting US election - there is evidence that Twitter may have been used even more extensively than Facebook in the Russian influence campaign last year – NYT http://nyti.ms/2yuUTgW
Internet execs (from FB, GOOGL, and TWTR) have been asked to testify before Congress in the coming weeks – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fTffK4
Thy God-Emperor Trump’s pick to head the DOJ’s antitrust division gets approved by the Senate – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2yttKeo
All about reflation and rotation: what happened on Wed. US stocks saw solid gains overall on Wed but the bigger story was ongoing rotation as the SPX’s ~40bp advance was somewhat overshadowed by the ~2% ramp in the R2K, the ~1.6% climb in the BKX, the 75- 130bp decline in both staples and utilities, the 7bp increase in 10yr yields, and the ~50bp DXY advance. The latest phase of the reflation trade kicked off back on 9/11 and is now in its 3rd week, encouraged along the way by firmer global inflation readings (China, India, UK, US, etc.), hawkish central banks actions/rhetoric (FOMC, BOC, BOE, etc.), and pro-growth policies in the US (the GOP tax blueprint). Thus it isn’t that stocks rallied solely in response to the Republican tax unveil but instead that blueprint helped to exacerbate existing reflation tendencies. Most of the big sectoral moves comported w/the reflation playbook as small caps and financials (esp. banks/brokers) did very well while staples, REITs, utilities, and telecoms lagged. Tech was something of an outlier – normally super-cap tech would lag during big reflation trades but that wasn’t necessarily the case on Wed.
Economic data/monetary policy update for Thurs 9/28. It was a pretty slow morning of news on this front. GfK consumer confidence in Germany for Oct softened slightly (it came in at 10.8 vs. the St 11). Some of the regional inflation numbers in Germany for Sept showed firming M/M (the full German inflation number will hit at 8amET). Eurozone confidence numbers for Sept came in relatively solid this morning (http://bit.ly/2fB5gMz). The New Zealand rate decision was largely as expected (http://bit.ly/2fsBZQb). o Fed’s Rosengren called for “regular and gradual” rate hikes as disinflationary pressures appear temporary while labor markets continue to tighten – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2xD4Tpa
North Korea tensions/challenges – North Korean provocations could increase in Oct, Chinese exports of food to NK spike, US to rotate strategic military assets into South Korea. o North Korea is likely to engage in more provocative behavior in Oct to coincide w/the founding of the North Korean community party and China’s Communist Party Congress. South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said he expected Pyongyang to act around Oct. 10 and 18 – Reuters http://reut.rs/2k6dgX1 o US strategic assets to be rotated into South Korea – the will send “strategic” military assets to South Korea on a more regular basis to better deter North Korea – Washington Post http://wapo.st/2yIoLHu o China’s agricultural exports to North Korea spiked in Jul and Aug; the increase in food shipments shows the resilience of ties between the two countries – WSJ http://on.wsj.com/2xHTq9F
Japan election outcome grows cloudier as Party of Hope gathers strength - the biggest opposition Democratic Party on Thurs said it would step aside to let its candidates run under the Party of Hope banner – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fsHYVk
Brexit negotiations – there are signs of a thawing in the EU-UK Brexit negotiation process as the EU makes a small concession – Bloomberg http://bit.ly/2wYsLlj
Company-specific news update for Thurs morning 9/28 – there are a few items in focus this morning including Toshiba/Bain, H&M, EFX, HAIN, and more. o Toshiba – a deal is (finally) signed – Toshiba struck a formal deal to sell its memory unit to a Bain-led group for $17.7B. The Bain consortium includes AAPL, Dell, STX, Hoya, and Hynix. The two sides hope to close the transaction by Mar. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2wYGopc o STX announces details on its participation in the Toshiba deal; STX has committed to provide up to $1.25 billion in financing to support the acquisition. Seagate expects to enter into a long-term NAND supply agreement with Toshiba Memory that will provide continuity of raw NAND for Seagate's expanding SSD product portfolio. Seagate expects this transaction to be accretive to its earnings. o AAPL not giving up fully on LCDs – AAPL could wind up buying advanced LCD panels from Japan Display next year, suggesting the co doesn’t plan on shifting its entire product lineup to OLED. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2wm6EWp o HAIN strikes agreement w/activist Engaged Capital – the agreement will overhaul the board and potentially opens the door to a sale of the company (the board will form a group to consider strategic alternatives). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xLOzo1 o EFX – the co’s acting CEO has an editorial in the WSJ this morning – “On behalf of Equifax, I’m sorry” – the article announces a series of steps and actions aimed at rectifying the fallout from the recent hack. http://on.wsj.com/2yvbLUX o H&M – the stock is one of the weakest in all of Europe after reporting disappointing earnings. o HUN, Clariant – White Tale Holdings, the activist group seeking to block the merger, has increased its stake in Clariant slightly – Reuters http://reut.rs/2xCiooZ
Company-specific news update from Wed night 9/27. There wasn’t anything major other than a few SMID-cap earnings (CMTL, JBL, PIR, PRGS, and THO) and none were particularly controversial. JBL beat for its FQ4/Aug period and while FQ1/Nov EPS was guided a bit under the St this stock has already come off a decent amount from its highs on the recent AAPL anxiety (and thus should be fine off the report). PRGS’s FQ3 numbers were inline w/the upside preannouncement and FQ4 was guided inline. PIR’s report was fine but the guidance fell a bit short of expectations. Away from earnings, a group of US senators are calling for an investigation into the recent deal struck between AGN and a Native American tribe (http://nyti.ms/2xGRxtP). According to Bloomberg, Novartis is considering a bid for AAAP (https://bloom.bg/2xHOjGa). What could move the market? Expectations on key topics/events
Taxes – now what? An update on the path forward. With the GOP tax blueprint out in the open Congress will now get down to the hard work of filling in the details and getting a bill to Thy God-Emperor Trump’s desk. However, a budget resolution still needs to pass before anything can get done on the tax front (as this will contain reconciliation instructions permitting the Senate to utilize a simple majority vote on tax). The House should have an easier time moving a tax bill (it probably isn’t shocking to think they could pass something by Thanksgiving) but the Senate is a bigger problem. Sen. Hatch has made several comments on tax that people should be paying more attention to (including that he will essentially ignore the 9/27 blueprint and write his own bill) and Sen. Corker also has expressed skepticism (he said tax reform would make healthcare look like “a piece of cake”). It’s important to remember that the Senate GOP majority is 1) small and 2) divided (as was evidenced by healthcare failing twice) and one of those two descriptions will become more apt after 12/12/17 (the date of the Alabama special Senate election). Once the Senate does move something it still has to be reconciled w/the House and voted on all over again. Taking all this into account, it seems like tax will be a CQ1 event at best. Beyond Mar ’18 the focus will shift towards the Nov mid-terms and that tends to freeze the legislative process. And if there are a lot of aggressive GOP primaries (something which could happen given Moore’s victory in Alabama’s run-off) that could slow the legislative process even more.
Taxes – what do investors expect? The GOP blueprint on 9/27 is being looked at as an opening “best case” bid that will likely differ substantially from the ultimate bill (to the extent there even is one). The final corporate rate will probably wind up being around ~25- 27% while the individual changes will focus more on the lower-end of the income spectrum (doubling the standard deduction, higher child credit, etc.) without meaningfully adjusting deduction rules or consolidating the existing bracket structure. “Repatriation” will happen in some form but the mechanism proposed in the GOP blueprint is quite complex. o Repatriation mechanics – the language in the GOP tax blueprint concerning repatriation and foreign earnings is somewhat confusing. What it sounds like they are proposing is: 1) all int’l earnings accumulated to this point will be hit w/a 1x tax assessment (note – this is different from the int’l cash balances companies report in their filings). The 1x tax rate isn’t specified but most assume it will be somewhere around 10% and companies can pay it over the course of a few years; 2) going forward the aim is to shift to a quasi-territorial system whereby all foreign profits of US companies will be taxed at a reduced rate (it isn’t clear what that reduced rate will be). It sounds like this tax will be imposed regardless of whether the money is actually repatriated. Bottom Line: this system would be an improvement over the current one BUT the proposed changes are very complex and this GOP blueprint today is a lot different from the George W Bush-era 1x repatriation holiday of last decade.
Gov’t funding – the current CR (continuing resolution) will fund the US gov’t until 12/8.
Debt ceiling – the debt ceiling will be suspended until 12/8 but during that time Treasury will refresh its extraordinary measures and buy itself additional months (McConnell recently told the NYT that the debt ceiling won’t become binding again until “well into” 2018). o The debt ceiling – Thy God-Emperor Trump and Schumer have apparently agreed to pursue a deal that would permanently eliminate the debt ceiling (although it’s unclear whether this will actually happen given the enormously busy agenda facing Washington in Dec).
Infrastructure spending – the F18 budget may include nominal funding for an “infrastructure bank” but no one anticipates a major infrastructure spending initiative.
Fed staffing – it may not be until later this year before Thy God-Emperor Trump unveils his intention for the Fed chair. The WSJ on 9/6 said Gary Cohn’s chances of getting the job had declined while Yellen could be asked to stay (CNN echoed that reporting on 9/7) and Bloomberg (on 9/7) says Thy God-Emperor Trump is considering as many as 6 additional people to become chair, including Kevin Warsh, Glenn Hubbard, John Taylor, Lawrence Lindsey, Richard Davis, and John Allison. Recent media reports suggest the frontrunners are Yellen and Warsh. Note that in addition to the chair decision, Thy God-Emperor Trump has several additional positions to fill at the Fed (Fischer’s resignation announcement on 9/6 created the latest opening).
Calendar of events to watch for Mon Oct 2
Calendar for the week of 10/2 – the main focus this week will be on the initial Oct eco numbers (ISMs/PMIs, auto sales, and US jobs) but otherwise it should be pretty quiet as investors await the start of CQ3 earnings (banks kick off the season on Thurs 10/12 but the heavy volume of release doesn’t begin until the week of 10/16).
Calendar for Mon 10/2 – the focus will be on the China NBS manufacturing/nonmanufacturing PMIs for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning 9/30), Eurozone manufacturing PMIs for Sept (4amET), Eurozone unemployment numbers for Aug (5amET), US manufacturing PMI for Sept (9:45amET), US manufacturing ISM for Sept (10amET), US construction spending for Aug (10amET), Thy God-Emperor Trump’s deregulation speech at the White House, and Fed speakers (Kaplan).
Calendar for Tues 10/3 – the focus will be on the Eurozone PPI for Aug (5amET), US auto sales for Sept (JPMorgan is modeling a SAAR of 17.4MM), analyst meetings (F/Ford, INTU, NTAP, and SHW), the WFC CEO testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, the EFX former CEO testimony before the House, and earnings (PAYX and LEN pre-open and IDT after the close).
Calendar for Wed 10/4 – the focus will be on the Eurozone services PMI for Sept (4amET), Eurozone retail sales for Aug (5amET), the RBI rate decision (5amET), the US ADP jobs report for Sept (8:15amET), the US services PMI for Sept (9:45amET), the US services ISM for Sept (10amET), Yellen’s comments (3:15pmET), analyst meetings (BWXT, BXP, MNK, and TTD), the EFX former CEO testimony before the Senate, and earnings (AYI, MON, PEP, RPM, and Tesco PLC pre-open and CAFD and RECN after the close).
Calendar for Thurs 10/5 – the focus will be on the ECB minutes (7:30amET), US factory orders/durable goods for Aug (10amET), Fed speakers (Williams, Harker, George), analyst meetings (BKH, CLX, LUK, and TWOU), and earnings (ISCA and STZ pre-open and COST, HELE, and YUMC after the close).
Calendar for Fri 10/6 – the focus will be on Germany factory orders for Aug (2amET), the US jobs report for Sept (8:30amET), US wholesale inventories/trade sales for Aug (10amET), US consumer credit for Aug (3pmET), and Fed speakers (Bostic, Kaplan, and Bullard). Catalysts – big events to watch over the coming months
Tillerson to travel to China – Sept 28-30.
US inflation – the Aug PCE will hit Fri 9/29.
Catalonia parliament independence vote – Sun 10/1.
China mainland markets closed Mon 10/2-Fri 10/6 for the National Day holiday.
Autos – US Sept auto sales get reported Tues 10/3; Ford/F’s CEO will also be giving a strategic update on that same day (this will be the first major update from the new CEO at Ford).
WFC CEO appearing before Senate Banking Committee on Tues 10/3.
EFX former CEO Richard Smith testifying before House panel on Tues 10/3 and before a Senate panel on Wed 10/4.
Yellen delivers opening remarks at Community Banking conf. Wed 10/4. 3:15pmET.
ECB meeting minutes – Thurs 10/5.
US jobs report for Sept – Fri 10/6.
North Korea - South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said he expected Pyongyang to act around Oct. 10 and 18 (Reuters).
WMT analyst meeting – Tues 10/10 (note that KR has an analyst meeting the next day, Wed 10/11).
PG shareholder meeting – Tues 10/10 (decision to be made on Peltz’s board seat request).
Fed minutes – minutes from the 9/20 meeting will be released Wed 10/11. 2pmET.
HON – the co will announce its portfolio review decision before earnings in Oct.
Bank earnings – the CQ3 earnings season kicks off w/Citigroup and JPM Thurs morning 10/12 while BAC, PNC, and WFC all report Fri 10/13.
US inflation – the Sept CPI will hit Fri 10/13.
CQ3 earnings – the week of Mon 10/16 is the first busy week of the CQ3 reporting season.
Iran – Thy God-Emperor Trump will certify whether Iran is complying w/the nuclear agreement around mid- Oct.
China - the National Congress of the Communist Party of China starts Oct 18.
China Q3 GDP and Sept retail sales, IP, and FAI (Wed night/Thurs morning) – Thurs morning 10/19.
Japan – the country will hold snap elections on Sun 10/22.
Flash PMIs for Oct – Tues 10/24
ECB meeting/press conf. Thurs Oct 26. The ECB is expected to provide guidance on LSAP tapering at this meeting.
US Q3 GDP report – Fri 10/27
Fed meeting – decision Wed 11/1 (no press conf. or supplemental).
BOE decision – Thurs 11/2. The BOE is expected to hike rates at this meeting.
Thy God-Emperor Trump trip to China – he is scheduled to visit China in November.
GE – the co will likely hold an analyst meeting in Nov at which it will provide a refresh of its long-term financial guidance.
OPEC meeting – the next formal OPEC leaders meeting is Nov 30 (a decision on extending the production agreement beyond Mar ’18 could be reached at this gathering).
US gov’t funding/debt ceiling – current legislation funds the gov’t and suspends the debt ceiling until 12/8 (the debt ceiling is unlikely to become binding again until “well into” 2018).
Alabama special Senate election – Tues 12/12.
Fed meeting – decision Wed Dec 13. There will be a press conf. and supplemental. The Fed is expected to hike rates at this meeting.
Dassault Systemes has agreed to buy U.S. peer Exa Corp in a deal valued at about $400 million – Reuters http://reut.rs/2ftGHxm
HAIN strikes agreement w/activist Engaged Capital – the agreement will overhaul the board and potentially opens the door to a sale of the company (the board will form a group to consider strategic alternatives). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xLOzo1
HUN, Clariant – White Tale Holdings, the activist group seeking to block the merger, has increased its stake in Clariant slightly – Reuters http://reut.rs/2xCiooZ
Toshiba – a deal is (finally) signed – Toshiba struck a formal deal to sell its memory unit to a Bain-led group for $17.7B. The Bain consortium includes AAPL, Dell, STX, Hoya, and Hynix. The two sides hope to close the transaction by Mar. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2wYGopc
Thy God-Emperor Trump’s pick to head the DOJ’s antitrust division gets approved by the Senate – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2yttKeo
Westinghouse Electric – Blackstone and Apollo have teamed to make a bid for bankrupt Westinghouse – Reuters http://reut.rs/2wXfAFR
Full catalyst list
Thurs Sept 28 – Eurozone confidence measures for Sept. 5amET.
Thurs Sept 28 – German inflation for Sept. 8amET.
Thurs Sept 28 – US Q2 data revisions (GDP, PCE, etc.). 8:30amET.
Thurs Sept 28 – US advance goods trade balance for Aug. 8:30amET.
Greetings everybody. I'm K950 of EVE University and this is another discourse on the enhanced PvE environments that CCP has been working on for some time. Previously, I talked about the Pirate Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and the mining fleets which have been sprouting up in belts near you for some time now. I will provide such links below for your curiousity.
Mining Ops: Capital post which has links to previous posts about the subject.
Between the mining operations conducted in various quarters, the Forward Operating Bases, and these Resource Wars sites, I think I'll have adequately covered CCP's immediate deployments available to us. I must apologize for not having released this information sooner, but probably because I was lazy, or it could be that I'm supposed to be doing PvP and teaching classes, but still haven't done much with that, but what can you do. Let's get going!
Basic site concepts
The Resource Wars sites are found in high security spacegiggles and there are four principle corporations that host each sector of the respective Empires. The sites appear as beacons out in space, and anybody can warp to them, but entry is something else; however, they're typically better off located with "The Agency" feature available in game. (I don't like the name "The Agency". Reminds me too much off Hitman and is rather ... unsuited for EVE.) Once inside, players must mine out a certain quantity of ore and deposit it into waiting NPC Orcas to be evacuated. Hostile NPCs also await inside the site. It's not a casual affair though, by reason of the site timer, which is convienently shown on the left panel of your screen and updates your progress. Like real mining operations, efficiency is everything. We'll now turn to the more specific particulars of these sites.
I said in the last FOB post I made that those sites can be summed up into four words, which ironically also mirrors these sites: Bored Bored Bored Eyestrain Nothing less explains these sites aptly enough. Shall we examine a certain passing description for these sites?
You and your fleet mates will form a strike team with the empire mining expedition fleet to warp to these previously secure sites and survey the environment to select the best asteroid clusters to focus on. If you choose to mine with the fleet, your role will be to gather the resources as quickly as possible and deposit the rare ore into waiting haulers. If you fit for combat, you will defend the fleet miners against the incoming pirates and their reinforcement waves. After your force enters a site, mine the asteroids and eliminate the pirates as quickly as possible before heading to the next site once the haulers are filled and warp away. These sites will contain a new asteroid type, never seen before in New Eden.
Peachy. Below I will outline specifics of each of the sites.
Corporation and standings technicals
The Gallente corporation is Federal Strategic Materiel. The Caldari corporation is State Military Stockpile. The Amarr corporation is Imperial War Reserves. The Minmatar corporation is Republic Fleet Ordnance. Each is independant of the other. If you have Connections to IV, you should have a standing of 1.61 with each of these corporations. If you have Connections V, then that would be 2.0 standing for each of them. 1.6 Standing is enough to start off with Level 2 missions: anything less than 1.0 and you'll be running Level 1 sites. For Level 3 sites, you need a standing of 3.0 or higher, for Level 4 sites, you need a standing of 5.0 or higher, and for Level 5 sites, you must have a standing of 7.0 with that specific corporation. Just the same as a regular corporation. Except there is One Small Problem: These corporations have no Agents at all, so once you get some bossy standings you have nothing to show for it (explained later). Each mission grants you upon completion, some Loyalty Points and some token ISK (lol). A Standard site, assuming no bonus rewards, nets you 700 Loyalty Points, a 1.02x standings multipler and 1500000 ISK. As I'm not on the Site Specifics subheading I'll skip past the other sites to continue with the topic at hand. The Standings work the same way as any mission you might pull, however the standings gain is a fixed value, and there is no derived modifications that I know of (my utility alt is quite clean on the standings panel). To determine how much standings you'll get from a site, you will need a simple formula:
New Standing = Current Standing + ((10 - Current Standing)*0.02)
So if your current standing is 4.91 with Imperial War Reserves, you'll find that if you do another site with the Amarr sites, your new standings will be: New Standing = 4.91 + ((10 - 4.91)*0.02) ...which equals 5.01 to two decimal places. Handy, since each site yields the same standings increase. It says "+2.00" in the mission reward window at the end of a site, but it's actually a 1.02x Multiplier. EVE works mainly on the principle of multipliers. There is no penalty incurred for failing a site, or for miscreanse inside the site. I had to run a total of 50 sites (exactly) to get standings to run Level 5 sites. This yielded a total of 23380 LP (I did run a variety of sites, but only Minors and Standards.) Get Connections to IV or you'll be hating life. In Gallente highsec space, you can access the Federal Strategic Reserve loyalty point store at any station -- to access the Republic Fleet Ordnance LP, you'll have to go to any Minmatar highsec station. The loyalty points have already been proven to be a total waste of time. According to my maths, if you have Connections to 1, you'll need to run 58 sites to get access to L5s; Connections 2 requires 56; Connections 3 is only 54; Connections 4 lowers that to 51; and finally Connections V gets you L5s in just Forty-Nine sites. As of right now.
Each empire takes upon the usual pirate rats which inhabit said region. The Gallente take up the Serpentis and inside are Serpentis pirate faction vessels; the Caldari take up the Guristas, the Amarr have the Blood Raiders and Minmatar get the usual Angel Cartel flavor. The frigates mirror the typical pirate ship tree: as I focused on the Gallente empire space, I will now start to speak mainly for that area but you can infer the other regions as such and I will only mention things that are relevant for the other races beyond this point as I don't want to bog down this beloved post in details are overredundant. The frigates are Daredevils, the cruisers are Vigilants, and the battleships are Vindicators. The Daredevils web, the Vigilants have sensor dampening and the Vindicators have no EWAR that I could identify (bad fits?). It seems that the Daredevils use Light Electron Blasters, the Vigilants use some meta level of 200mm Railguns, and the Vindicators use some 350mm Railgun platform. The webs are not bonused webs, and seem to cap out at about 60% total strength. I will temporarily digress to mention the other races briefly. The Blood Raider Cruors web, the Ashimnus neut and the Bhaalgorns I didn't get access to. The Angel Cartel Dramiels web (they use AutoCannons), the Cynabals use target painting (and use some meta level of 650mm Artillery, lol); Machariels I didn't have access to to. The Gurista Worms web and use T1 Scourge Rockets, the Gilas use Dread Guristas Inferno Heavy Missiles stacked with ECM, and the Rattlesnakes are out of my league to access. Based on these EWAR metrics I think you're best off skipping Gurista and Blood Raider sites because mining ships have bad capacitor and being jammed for 20 seconds will be a big hurt. Moving on. A Limited site requires 10000 ore and has 1 Orca to pack full. A Minor site requires 20000 ore and has 2 Orcas; a Standard requires 30000 ore and has 3 Orcas; a Major site requires 40000 ore and has 4 Orcas; and finally a Critical site requires 50000 ore and has 5 Orcas. The ore is convienently clustered into "sites" which have roughly 10000 ore each, sometimes less, sometimes more, but it's about that much. Payout for a Minor site is roughly 400 LP (more if you get bonus rewards for completing the site faster), 500000 ISK and a 1.02x standing multipler. Standard sites pay 700 LP base (again, more for faster completion), 1500000 ISK and 0.02x standing multiplier. Limiteds grant 260 LP at max payout and 168000 ISK (all the bonuses for time), Majors pay 3000000 ISK and 1000 LP; and Criticals have not been successfully completed yet. Sometimes the Orca icons bug out and show red ... this doesn't affect anything (could be part of the new icon updates for NPCs). The NPC spawns that await you inside vary a small bit, but I'll summarize. A Limited site typically has 2 frigates. A Minor site has 2 frigates and 1 cruiser. (I've had 3 cruisers before, site times went down because of no webs.) A Standard site has on average, 3 frigates and 2 cruisers; a Major site usually has 2 frigates, 2 cruisers and 2 battleships; finally, a Critical site can have 4 frigates, 3 or 4 cruisers, and 4 battleships (looks to be limited to 12 ships). You can see what your lot is before you go inside by checking the directional scanner - if you don't see anything, initiating a warp to the site will update it. After a player slides inside, useless NPC "allied" (as in, I'm not required to shoot them, but I wish I could) forces warp in after roughly 10-30 seconds. In a Minor site, which I ran the most, 2 Thoraxes and a 1-2 Incursus frigates was typical. Their DPS is terrible, their coordination means they rarely kill anything, even a hostile frigate, and they get popped on occasion too. Usually nobody kills anything as the frigates usually pester the human players and NPC cruisers and above flirt with the useless allied ships, though they do switch to you (if solo) on occasion. After I got standings to 7.03 I brought in a barge in a Critical site and noted that all of the NPCs focused on me for the whole of my time inside, which could be typical or atypical. In a Critical site, 2 Megathrons, 4 Thoraxes and 1 Incursus compiled the whole of the reinforcement fleet, in one instance (they can bring Brutixes in) and they didn't really do anything constructive. NPC vessels that perish can respawn with replacements after a short time (roughtly 10-20 seconds or so, I didn't keep track, kinda depends). This includes hostile NPCs. The time to run each site is already shown in the Agency window, along with the number of pilots you can bring (boosts on the acceleration gate? yes please) and the ship types. Interestingly, Gallente sites won't let you bring anything else beyond Gallente and ORE mining ships (all sites do let you bring in the ORE mining vessels, but read on): you can't bring Amarr ships, or Gurista pirate faction ships, or your favorite Scythe Fleet Issue. Only T1 Gallente hulls - only the Prospect and Exhumers can enter, when it comes to T2 ships. No you can't bring a link Bifrost, or your Porpoise. Sorry, I know the Loki is pretty nice right now, but can't bring that either. I understand the racial limitation to each site. It kind of makes things a little different and forces you to go off the usual VNI/IshtaDo it all ship. This also means however, that the other sectors are highly undesirable because of their EWAR choices. Hostile damps from the Serpentis rats -- shrug it off. But have you ever been neuted out or jammed in a barge? Yeah, life wasn't so good was it.
Running the sites
Okay here's where I start getting more practical, and less factual about what I say. I ran these sites on the test server. This means that some things could be bugged in the sites themselves. The reason I ran them on the test server is because of ease of access to shiny expensive things that I can replace. The way the sites work is you find them on the Agency window or simply out in space. (For chain-running, I would add all the closer sites in the Agency window as a waypoint, then optimize the route.) Warping to a site, you get a popup that informs you of the basic objectives. An acceleration guards the way (Elite PvP?) to block ships not permitted inside the site. When a player slides the acceleration gate, the first one inside the site starts the site timer (even if he's cloaked while taking the gate and enters in cloaked) and joins a site chat channel to help coordinate efforts with other random strangers. If he's a miner, he should approach a suitable ore site (clusters of ore sites are a bonus) and begin mining at the earliest opportuinity. If he's an attack vessel designed to shoot the NPCs, he should begin with the frigates and work on the others. The site measures completion by the filling of Orca holds with 10000 units of ore each. As an Orca is filled to capacity, it speedily warps off (5 second align time!) to the unknown. Once the Orcas are filled, the site registers the completion as long as the time is not up, the hostile NPCs and useless allied NPCs despawn or warp off and you are free to go. Sites which are failed do not impart a penalty to any one player. Useless allied NPCs warp in at about the 30 second mark once the first player has entered the site. The site only despawns by reason of the timer. The Prospect is a ORE Tech II expedition frigate with bonuses for mining efficiency and signature radius. Capable of fitting a covert operations cloaking device, it is well suited for wormhole gas mining and other limited uses. As a mining ship for ore it's not really useful since mining is best done in volume, and it's not the best for that because barges are more efficient for mining operations. In other uses it is a typical bait ship for dropping cynos for black ops stuff or for dropping bigger ships on people. Anytime you see a Prospect that is not shown to be mining gas in a wormhole, you should assume it to be a huntebait ship for some waiting gang, and you should just about avoid it unless you have a plan to counter them. For this excursion of mine to explore the Resource Wars sites it was a natural choice. Aside from the Limited (level 1) sites, it can enter every type of site and is well suited for the endeavor. Given that this was Singularity, the natural choice is Yes Bling All the Things and Implant Up Boys, we have work to do. After some amount of fudgery I finally settled on a fit. Shown with implants equipped:
[Prospect, Prospect fit] Mining Laser Upgrade II Mining Laser Upgrade II Elara Restrained Mining Laser Upgrade Elara Restrained Mining Laser Upgrade Coreli A-Type 1MN Afterburner Pithi A-Type Small Shield Booster Eutectic Compact Cap Recharger Miner II Miner II Covert Ops Cloaking Device II Small Processor Overclocking Unit II Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer II Mid-grade Harvest Alpha Mid-grade Harvest Beta Mid-grade Harvest Gamma Mid-grade Harvest Delta Mid-grade Harvest Epsilon Zainou 'Gypsy' CPU Management EE-606 Michi's Excavation Augmentor Inherent Implants 'Highwall' Mining Upgrades MU-1005 Antipharmakon Aeolis Agency 'Hardshell' TB7 Dose III
Yes. This fit is, in total, expensive. But on SISI it is not. I have the A-Type SSB and the 1MN AB tucked safely in Badgers that hold shinies like them that I can /copyships to get another set every 24 hours. Here comes the problem. The Resource Wars sites are ostensibly oriented towards newer players to get an introduction into co-operative mining ventures (see that pun?). Except that because of the way the sites work, Prospects are the way to go, end of story. Their increased yield compared to the Venture and more low slots allow them to vastly outperform the humble Venture for this job. Yeah you could bring friends, and CCP has been working on trying to encourage co-operative PvE, except nobody likes doing that outside of incursions, and they only tolerate incursions because of the predictable payout ledger and the scope in which the sites have been refined and understood to maximize efficiency. Part of the reason why co-operative PvE doesn't work is finding someone to run the sites with you, with the right skills, right equipment, tolerable skill level to not click Approach on a battleship that is 30km away from you and then get subsequently alpha'd can be hard to find. Oh and he also has to be in your timezone, and have the tolerance and willpower to run all these sites with you. In normal PvE ventures like 6/10s or 10/10s, heck no, solo that stuff man, his presence cuts into my paycheck. Secondly real co-operative mining doesn't work the way these sites lead you to think. First off there's four quarters of space in this silly game. The first is highsec, if you mine there it's because you're 1) deathly scared of null for no reason, 2) multiboxing blobs of Skiffs in ice anomalies, 3) learning the game (nothing wrong there), 4) too new to understand what is about and just need some time to settle down and figure out what to do next (nothing wrong there, but hurry up will ya!). If you mine in lowsec it's because of the updated moon mining mechanics, and thus you should mine in the same way as null does; if you mine in null you're doing it properly with either Hulks/Covetors or Skiffs/Procurers with proper boosts sorted and maybe a Rorqual or two or three or more on field with caps and a standing fleet up. Or you're multiboxing as before and can fend for yourself in some capacity (???). Finally if you're mining in Bob's great domain it's because you're mining gas or rare ice and none of those work like these sites do: for those you're best off with Bifrost or Porpoise links and Prospects/Endurances and slightly different operating rules. (You could, of course, have squeezed in Rorquals into shattered holes before CCP patched that only to demonstrate to the world your ineptitude with Rorqual fitting. All that effort only to look like a fool afterwards because you didn't bother to fit them right in the first place.) So these sites are fine but they don't have an actual purpose besides new player content, and they're terrible at that too. The payouts are terrible, the loyalty points are beyond worthless, the participation benefits that you can get doing SOMETHING ELSE will vastly overcome what you can get from these sites. That's before I mention the ore itself inside. Any time a ship leaves the site, or if it's disbanded, your ore is scrubbed from the site. Warp off? Gone. Disconnect in a solo site? Sucks! (I've had a DC right before I unloaded my cargo and was under 5km from the objective with less than a minute and a half to spare. Wouldn't have been able to reconnect and re-mine the lost ore in time.) Jet can it and hope it goes un-noticed? Nope, that's wiped out too. Okay I'll pack it inside a mobile depot. Nope, that gets found and will be purged immediately. You can't sell, trade or contract the ore. You can't use it for anything else in industry whatsoever, as it can't be extracted from the site either. It also cannot be mined after the site is disbanded. Neither does safelogging save your ore in your hold. Even the Show Info on the ore is broken. CCP is highly fixated on making sure you don't mass mine out one site, ignoring the NPC Orcas, and then dispersing it to haulers to go dump into other virgin sites -- for some reason? It can't be used for anything, so why does it matter? The LP and payouts are FAR below practical means of farming, so....??? The only relief comes from a jetcan that is being tractored: in my case the ore was tractored into the MTU and stored in the MTU safely. It's such as waste of time, these sites. You can't use the ore for anything else, the payouts are rubbish, the LP is rubbish and the grind to get Level 5 sites is a soul-sucking endeavour which will make your bones ache. You'll get headaches induced by those webbing frigates and the dismal payouts -- which are supposed to be oriented towards newbies. Newbs, pay attention: When a Vet tells you 'Use a Rattlesnake for L4s, or [blank], not a Rokh or Apoc' it's probably because he's speaking from experience of that very activity. Railguns suffer from reduced DPS with the longer range ammunition you have to use as a matter of choice and the laser boats are terrible for PvE because the ship bonuses and chronic capacitor problems make them less efficient than the other recognized choices. So if he says 'You can make more money belt ratting in null with a 440 DPS HAM Caracal or doing [blank]' it's probably best to take his advice. Of course knowing it yourself is always cool, so there's no shame in that, but when you get 500.000ISK ticks and wonder how you're going to afford that Myrmidon that costs 85M fitted it's probably best to reconsider when you can go roam in NPC null with a Probe or Heron for an hour in quiet time and make 3 times that on a good day. Well that was a nice ramble, took less time to type out than I thought it would, probably because it's fueled by passion and a burning hatred for those Daredevil frigates. Let's get back on track. Yes the Prospect is the best. With my skills, towards the end (I casually boosted some skills with some skill injector supplied SP), I was mining 393m3 every 60 seconds out to 15,175km. No links. That's 25% more than a Venture with the same implants and skills (Mining V, Astrogeology IV, and swapping the MU-1005 for a MX-1005). Also the Prospect has about 3.5 times the shield buffer (All V assumed), about triple the armor and hull buffer, so when the Benefits of Being an NPC are realized with two wrecking hits from two cruisers in the same tick, you don't get alpha'd off the field. If you don't have access to Prospects, you'll need more Ventures, which do have the advantage of being able to bring drones to the field to clear off those pesky webbing frigates. Moving on, efficiency is everything with these sites. The distribution of Orcas and mining sites is slightly random each time, so some sites will have you overloading the afterburner to get to the Orca with seconds to spare or it'll pretty nicely laid out and you'll have an easy time. SHORT-CYCLE YOUR LASERS boys -- the rocks have very little ore in them, so you'll want to figure out how much you should short cycle. To do this, take your mining amount per second (shown on the mining laser tooltip) and divide it by 119m3, the largest rock I found with a survey scanner. So if you mine 8.52m3/sec, you should get 119m3 / 8.52m3 which yields roughly 14 seconds. If you look at your mining laser, which has a cycle time of 60 seconds, watch for it to hit the 9 o'clock position, then cycle it off and switch to another rock. Keep your ship moving to dodge cruiser fire, have the next rocks already locked up and ready, try splitting ore to make it easier to deposit when the seconds are counting down, adjust the windows on the left of your screen if you have to in order to make room for information, and so on. (E.G. If you mined 21778 ore, and are enroute to the first of two haulers, split the stack into to 10000 units of one stack and 10000 units of another stack, and jettison the remainder: when you open the first Orca, just drag 10000 straight in so you don't get the annoying prompt which costs time.) As far as site times and overall site work goes, Yeah it can be a challenge depending on the distribution and your skills. I've had close shaves but most sites are doable with the fit above. The webbing frigates slow you down so they're the principle annoyance besides really spread out Orcas. Cruiser aggro comes and goes, but if you keep your speed up with the afterburner you should be fine in most cases aside from lucky wrecking hits. Generally the cruisers will shoot at the useless allied ships leaving the frigates to focus on you. I have noticed that if you're not mining, or shooting, you probably won't get aggro at all. Site Times -- this does vary a bit, my usual site time (using the fit above) was about 4:30 to spare, on average, with a Minor site. My best Minor site was 4:46 to spare, have had one that I was a bit slow on but could have had done just on the 5 minute mark to spare. That said I've also had sites with 2 seconds to spare, and another where I deposited it just in the nick of time -- and that was no set up -- I burnt out my afterburner getting to the last Orca in time. Most Standards are usually completed solo somewhere around the 3 minute mark. This is all mostly possible because of the cheeky shiny modules and implants -- which -- aren't available to everbody, and those who can, do something else which makes more money! The Orcas can be shot at by the NPCs. They have enough hit points that it's not anything you need to worry about. As a partner that I had early on said, "I don't give a ****" in response to the Orcas taking fire. The most I've seen was it getting into very low shields, but the enemy fire switched off afterwards, so yeah. The enemy NPCs don't really do enough damage for it to be a threat. Occasionally, an asteroid can be "reborn" and indicates it with a glowing aura and sheen across its surface. The Announcer does indicate this change. I can only guess that the asteroid rebirths itself with more ore? It's not very clear what that is precisely yet.
Here's a basic survey scan of a Minor site. Keep in mind the range of the Survey Scanner II that I used is limited because some fields may be off the radar. Here's the nerd link you need: Moissanite
Moissanite 578 57 m3 20 km Moissanite 761 76 m3 20 km Moissanite 827 82 m3 21 km Moissanite 830 83 m3 17 km Moissanite 850 85 m3 17 km Moissanite 850 85 m3 18 km Moissanite 867 86 m3 18 km Moissanite 870 87 m3 20 km Moissanite 874 87 m3 20 km Moissanite 878 87 m3 15 km Moissanite 896 89 m3 20 km Moissanite 909 90 m3 19 km Moissanite 913 91 m3 19 km Moissanite 919 91 m3 21 km Moissanite 919 91 m3 22 km Moissanite 933 93 m3 12 km Moissanite 938 93 m3 21 km Moissanite 941 94 m3 16 km Moissanite 941 94 m3 20 km Moissanite 949 94 m3 18 km Moissanite 966 96 m3 19 km Moissanite 978 97 m3 22 km Moissanite 983 98 m3 16 km Moissanite 988 98 m3 19 km Moissanite 990 99 m3 19 km Moissanite 993 99 m3 14 km Moissanite 1,013 101 m3 19 km Moissanite 1,014 101 m3 18 km Moissanite 1,023 102 m3 17 km Moissanite 1,033 103 m3 20 km Moissanite 1,079 107 m3 22 km Moissanite 1,103 110 m3 15 km Moissanite 1,118 111 m3 22 km Moissanite 1,122 112 m3 13 km Moissanite 1,124 112 m3 14 km Moissanite 1,124 112 m3 17 km Moissanite 1,163 116 m3 17 km Moissanite 1,166 116 m3 18 km Moissanite 1,196 119 m3 14 km Moissanite 1,197 119 m3 21 km Moissanite 1,197 119 m3 21 km
Level 4 and Level 5 Sites
You won't see much spoken about these sites around for now, probably because the newbies have figured out that the sites are rubbish and the veterans know better. But I'll talk about them so you'll know. Level 4 sites can be ran effectively with 3 pilots. After some considerable thought, I came up with a unique concept. As a resident fit critique chap on my corporation's chat channels, there's a couple of general rules about fitting:
Don't re-invent an already good fit. Basic Kestrel - nothing remarkable, but nothing wrong with it either. Also notice how everything dropped aside from some ammo -- even the Bouncer I picked up off a gate earlier! Kinda helps if you don't assume an Orthrus won't try to tank gate guns...XD
Don't overtank your ship. The more you overtank, the less DPS you do, and thus upsets your Tank/Applyable DPS ratio. You might tank like a boss, but if you can't kill anything, you're just delaying your inevitable death.
The more specialized the purpose, the more obtuse the fit will be. Specific counters, ships meant to do a very specific thing, ships that bend the meta, and other jobs -- depends exactly what you're trying to do.
Be sensible and know where to get good fittings, and use them: Shinies go on Marauders, not Breachers. Capitals don't use battleship sized reppers. The amount of people that can't fit a Rorqual properly is amazing.
Now. Here's the plan: you need a barge, and ore runner, and a specially fit T1 combat battlecruiser. As you probably will remember, I did this on Serpentis. If you want to prove your manliness with Amarr neuting or Gurista jamming be my guest, YMMV and all that. The Barge has to be a Covetor because of strip miner range. The ore runner can be a shield tanked properly fit Venture. And finally the T1 combat battlecruiser has to deal reasonable DPS, provide outgoing reps AND tank for itself.
[Venture, Venture - Shield MWD Resource Wars Hauler] Damage Control II 5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender Pithum C-Type Thermal Dissipation Amplifier Miner II Miner II [Empty High slot] Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I Small Cargohold Optimization I Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I Acolyte II x2 Core Probe Launcher I x1 Core Scanner Probe I x16 Mobile Depot x1
It's the same basic ship you can use for other purposes, which is why the rigs are as shown. A lot of people fit their Ventures up with tank rigs or something which changes nothing when you get trapped by a Sabre and blapped. But mine can carry a mobile depot and a probe launcher for gas mining ops. And a cloak in the highs at all times, like a Prospect. If you use this vessel exclusively for RW ops, consider 2 CDFE rigs and 1 Anti-Kinetic against Serpentis & Guristas, and swap in a mining laser upgrade module in the lows, and it'll run Limiteds just fine. If you're against Amarr, good luck! Make sure you mine some ore yourself in the ore runner vessel (10m3 is enough, doesn't have to be much) otherwise you won't get paid. Also make sure you come in with everybody else: if you show up really late, you won't get paid either! The barge.
[Covetor, Covetor - Shield No Prop RW Fit] Mining Laser Upgrade II Mining Laser Upgrade II Mining Laser Upgrade II Pithum C-Type Kinetic Deflection Amplifier Strip Miner I Strip Miner I Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I Federation Navy Hammerhead x5
Drones to taste. The key feature of this hull is the massive range of the strip miners. This allows you to sit in spots and jetcan ore for the ore runner to pick up and deposit in the Orcas. Naturally, barges have horrendous tank aside from the Proc--I mean cyno barge, and Skiffs. Also they take very badly to prop mods, and have terrible capacitors. Therefore we introduce the battlecruiser:
[Myrmidon, Myrmidon - Armor AB No Guns Resource Wars Special] Coreli A-Type Thermal Plating Coreli A-Type Kinetic Plating Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II Medium Armor Repairer II Medium Armor Repairer II Drone Damage Amplifier II 10MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner Large Cap Battery II Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II Mining Foreman Burst I, Mining Laser Field Enhancement Charge Medium Asymmetric Enduring Remote Shield Booster Medium Asymmetric Enduring Remote Shield Booster Medium Asymmetric Enduring Remote Shield Booster Medium 'Regard' Remote Capacitor Transmitter Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I Hornet II x5 Vespa II x5 Caldari Navy Wasp x4
Drones to taste, and to what you can use. I don't have much for drone skills so I use T2 lights and mediums, and faction my heavies. Here's your job in this ship:
Save the barge with remote reps. You should generally only need 1 or 2 reppers on it.
Send the barge capacitor: the barge has to short-cycle strip miners hard, and it runs out of capacitor in short order.
Kill the webbing frigates. Those interfere with the ore runner, and make it so the cruisers can apply to it, and give it problems.
Tank by yourself, and provide links.
So what you do is have everybody assemble on the acceleration gate, have the battlecruiser head in first, followed by the barge very shortly thereafter, then the ore runner. The battlecruiser stays close to the barge, to give it reps as needed, feeds it capacitor, kills the frigates, and provides the quite useful link to help the barge reach the distance. If you have Tech II links, your barge pilot will like you more. Meanwhile the barge perodically jetcans ore into a ready can and the ore runner picks it up and deposits it in the Orcas. Pretty spiffy. But what about Level 5 sites? Well they do have more rats, and more ore, but I'm pretty sure you can handle a Level 5 site ore-wise with just one barge and one ore runner, but you need to upgrade your tanks. If you can sport 85% resistances against their primary damage, and tank 700 EHP/sec against said damage, you should be fine. This is complicated by the factor of the rats you have to deal with. Having a barge jammed is not fun, either, or having your BC jammed who is responsible for repping the barge - which then can go POP shortly after. Aside from the extra rats, the Level 5 sites are just like Level 4s, oh and one extra Orca. But principally, if you want to do this economically, assuming Serpentis sites in Gallente space, you'd be probably better off with two Exequrors (fit to tank Kin/Th damage), two barges, 1 Myrmidon fit for the single mining link and DPS, and the single ore runner. Have a spare ore running Venture nearby in case of Sudden Blappage -- unlikely under normal circumstances, but you could get some lucky hits as you're bouncing off the Orcas or something. The trio of ore-runner, single barge and single T1 battlecruiser won't work for L5 sites very well, at least efficiently: the incoming DPS can be overwhelming and the unbonused reps don't amount to enough to sustain it. This depends a lot on what your spawn is too: I've seen 1 cruiser 3 battleship and 7 frigate groups: and 1 frigate 7 cruiser (!) and 4 battleships. A more typical spawn of 4 frigates, 3 cruisers and 4 battleships could probably done though -- depends how much you want to challenge yourself. You could consider using RR Mymidons in place of the two Exequrors, too. Focus-fire, blap frigates and delete the cruisers, and you should be fine: the battleships aren't really much of a threat, to be honest. The cruisers tend to apply better and are a bigger threat than the battleships with their 350mm Railguns. The thing is with Level 5 sites is, their reward isn't really worth it: by the time you assemble the stuff to optimize these sites, you'll move on very quickly to other things, and thus the investment doesn't pay off very well.
What if I...?
Shoot the Orcas? You were waiting for that one were ya? Ah hah I know your type. To test this out I sat myself inside a PvP fit standard blaster 200mm + SAAR Incursus, loaded Void, and went off. Revenge is sure sweet. To effectively permit your survival, you should finish off the frigates: they move at a very high rate of speed (1500-2000m/sec) so having dual web is a nice feature to overcome this annoyance. Once you have finished them off, the cruiser(s) should have a much harder time hitting you when you're engaging the Orcas. As part of engaging the Orcas, you do obtain a suspect flag. That was a surprise. And you can kill them too: 10 minutes is enough time to blow one up. Interestingly enough, unless it's a SISI feature, when the replacement Orca comes in, it has a utterly MASSIVE ore hold of 99,999,999,999.9m3, but it's bugged so ore deposited into it doesn't count towards your site requirements. If you attack the Orcas, the useless allied NPCs won't bother you, but you can aggress them separately if you want. Like the hostile NPCs, they aren't really much of a problem because their incompetence is great. If you shoot the useless allied NPCs, they can respawn with more of them, but their count remains the same. Curiously, I just laughed my butt off as (just now with this like 8th edit) the hostile NPCs actually killed a NPC Orca in a Critical site. The replacement warped in about 10 seconds afterwards and was the usual 10000m3. Other griefing: Bumping the Orcas away from the other players; finding someone who is doing a particular class of site and running ahead of him on his route (?) and starting the site timers before he gets there; bumping him away from his rocks; not much else I think. Suspect baiting perhaps?
So. Given all this info, what should do YOU do about these sites? Answer: NOTHING. Ignore them. if you like mining, do it in null, not highsec, even by yourself. I think I summarized my feelings aptly enough in the ramble above. There's really not much else to say.
If all you look for is the TL:DRs, how will you learn anything in depth? Ignore the Resource Wars sites. Tell your friends to ignore the Resource Wars sites. Tell your enemies to ignore the Resource Wars sites.
by John Lord, LL.D. I DO not present Queen Elizabeth as a very interesting or as a faultless woman. As a woman she is not a popular favorite. But it is my object to present her as a queen; to show with what dignity and ability a woman may fill one of the most difficult and responsible stations of the world. It is certain that we associate with her a very prosperous and successful reign; and if she was lacking in those feminine quali- ties which make woman interesting t ma, we are constrained to admire her for those talents and virtues which shed lustre on the throne. She is unques- tionably one of the links in the history of England and of modern civilization; and her reign is so re- markable, considering the difficulties with which she had to contend, that she may justly be regarded as one of the benefactors of her age and country. It is a pleasant task to point out the greatness, rather than the defects, of so illustrious a woman. It is my main object to describe her services to her country, for it is by services that all monarchs are to be judged; and all sovereigns , especially those armed with great power, are exposed to unusual temptations, which must ever qualify our judgments. Even bad men——like Cæsar, Richelieu, and Napoleon——have obtained favorable verdicts in view of their services. And when sovereigns whose characters have been sul- lied by weaknesses and defects, yet who have escaped great crimes and scandals and devoted themselves to the good of their country, have proved themselves to be wise, enlightened, and patriotic, great praise has been awarded them. Thus, Henry IV. of France, and William III. of England have been admired in spite of their defects. Queen Elizabeth is the first among the great female sovereigns of the world whose reign we associate a decided progress in national wealth, power, and pros- perity; so that she ranks with the great men who have administered kingdoms. If I can prove this fact, the sex should be proud of so illustrious a woman, and should be charitable to those foibles which sullied the beauty of her character, since they were in part faults of the age, and developed by the circumstances which surrounded her. She was born in the year 1533, the rough age of Luther, when Charles V. was dreaming of establishing a united continental military empire, and when the princes of the House of Valois were battling with the ideas of the Reformation,——an earnest, revolution- ary, and progressive age. She was educated as the second daughter of Henry VIII. naturally would be, having the celebrated Ascham as her tutor in Greek, Latin, French, and Italian. She was precocious as well as studious, and astounded her teachers by her attainments. She was probably the best-educated woman in England next to Lady Jane Grey, and she excelled in those departments of knowledge for which novels have given such distaste in these more enlightened times. Elizabeth was a mere girl when her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed for infidelities and levities to which her husband could not be blind, had he been less suspicious,—–a cruel execution, which nothing short of high-treason could have justified even in that rough age. Though her birth was declared to be ille- gitimate by her cruel and unscrupulous father, yet she was treated as a princess. She was seventeen when her hateful old father died; and during the six years when the government was in the hands of Somerset, Edward VI. being a minor, Elizabeth was exposed to no peculiar perils except those of the heart. It is said that Sir Thomas Seymour, brother to the Pro- tector, made a strong impression on her, and that she would have married him had the Council consented. By nature, Elizabeth was affectionate, though pru- dent. Her love for Seymour was uncalculating and unselfish, though he was unworthy of it. Indeed, it was her misfortune always to misplace her affections, ——which is so often the case in the marriages of su- perior women, as if they loved the image merely which their own minds created, as Dante did when he bowed down to Beatrice. When we see intellectual men choosing weak and silly women for wives, and women of exalted character selecting unworthy and wicked husbands, it does seem as if Providence determines all matrimonial unions independently of our own wills and settled purposes. How often is wealth wedded to poverty, beauty to ugliness, and amiability to ill-tem- per! The hard, cold, unsocial, unsympathetic, wooden, scheming, selfish man is the only one who seems to attain his end, since he can bide his time,——wait for somebody to fancy him. Elizabeth had that mixed character which made her life a perpetual conflict between her inclinations and her interests. Her generous impulses and affectionate nature made her peculiarly susceptible, while her pru- dence and her pride kept her from a foolish marriage. She may have loved unwisely, but she had sufficient self-control to prevent a mésalliance. While she may have resigned herself at times to the fascinations of accomplished men, she yet fathomed the abyss into which imprudence would bury her forever. On the accession of Mary, her elder sister, daughter of Catharine of Aragon, Elizabeth's position was ex- ceedingly critical, exposed as she was to the intrigues of the Catholics and the jealousy of the Queen. And when we remember that the great question and issue of that age was whether the Catholic or Protestant religion should have the ascendancy, and that this ascendancy seemed to hinge upon the private inclina- tions of the sovereign who in the furtherance of this great end would scruple at nothing to accomplish it, and that the greatest crimes committed for its sake would be justified by all the sophistries that religious partisanship could furnish, and be upheld by all bigots and statesmen as well as priests, it is really remarkable that Elizabeth was spared. For Mary was not only urged on to the severest measures by Gardiner and Bonner (the bishops of Winchester and London), and by all the influences of Rome, to which she was devoted body and soul,——yea, by all her confidential advisers in the State, to save themselves from future contingencies,——but she was also jealous of her sister, as Elizabeth was afterwards jealous of Mary Stuart. And it would have been as easy for Mary to execute Elizabeth as it was for Elizabeth to execute the Queen of Scots, or Henry VIII. to behead his wives; and such a crime would have been excused as readily as the execution of Somerset or of the Lady Jane Grey, both from political necessity and religious ex- pediency. Elizabeth was indeed subjected to great humiliations, and even compelled to sue for her life. What more piteous than her letter to Mary, begging only for an interview: "Wherefore I humbly beseech your Majesty to let me answer before yourself; and, once again kneeling with humbleness of heart, I ear- nestly crave to speak to your Highness, which I would not be so bold as to desire if I knew not myself most clear, as I know myself most true." Here is a woman pleading for her life to a sister to whom she had done no wrong, and whose only crime was in being that sister's heir. What an illustration of the jealousy of royalty and the bitterness of religious feuds; and what a contrast in this servile speech to that arrogance which Elizabeth afterward assumed toward her Parliament and greatest lords! Ah, to what cringing meanness are most people reduced by adversity! In what pride are we apt to indulge in the hour of triumph! How circumstances change the whole appearance of our lives! Elizabeth, however, in order to save her life, was obliged to dissemble. If her true Protestant opinions had been avowed, I doubt if she could have escaped. We do not see in this dissimulation anything very lofty; yet she acted with singular tact and discretion. It is creditable, however, to Mary that she did not execute her sister. She showed herself more noble than Elizabeth did later in her treatment of the Queen of Scots. History calls her the "Bloody Mary;" and it must be admitted that she was the victim and slave of religious bigotry, and that she sanctioned many bloody executions. And yet it would appear that her nature was, after all, affectionate, which is evinced in the fact that she did spare the life of Elizabeth. Here her better impulses gained the victory over craft and policy and religious intolerance, and rescued her name from the infamy to which such a crime would have doomed her, which her advisers would have sanctioned, and would have rejoiced in as much as in the slaughter of Saint Bartholomew. The crocodile tears which Elizabeth is said to have shed when the death of her sister Mary was announced to her at Hatfield were soon wiped away in the pomps and enthusiasms which hailed her accession to the throne. This was in 1558, when she was twenty-five, in the fulness of her attractions and powers. Great expectations were formed of her wisdom and genius. She had passed through severe experiences; she had led a life of study and reflection; she was gifted with talents and graces. "Her accomplishments, her misfortunes, and her brilliant youth exalted into passionate homage the principle of loyalty, and led to extravagant pane- gyrics." She was good-looking, if she was not beautiful, since the expression of her countenance showed benig- nity, culture, and vivacity. She had piercing dark eyes, a clear complexion, and animated features. She was in perfect health, capable of great fatigue, apt in business, sagacious, industrious, witty, learned, and fond of being surrounded with illustrious men. She was high-church in her sympathies, yet a Protestant in the breadth of her views and in the fulness of her reforms. Above all, she was patriotic and disinterested in her efforts to develop the resources of her kingdom and to preserve it from entangling wars. The kingdom was far from being prosperous when Elizabeth assumed the reins of government, and it is the enormous stride in civilization which England made during her reign, beset with so many nasty perils, which con- stitutes her chief claim to the admiration of mankind. Let it be borne in mind that she began her rule in perplexities, anxieties, and embarrassments. The crown was encumbered with debts; the nobles were ambitious and factious; the people were poor, dis- pirited, unimportant, and distracted by the claims of two hostile religions. Only one bishop in the whole realm was found willing to crown her. Scotland was convulsed with factions, and was a standing menace, growing out of the marriage of Mary Stuart with a French prince. barbarous Ireland was in a state of chronic rebellion; France, Spain, and Rome were de- cidedly hostile; and all Catholic Europe aimed at the overthrow of England. Philip II. had adopted the dying injunction of his father to extinguish the Prot- estant religion, and the princes of the House of Valois were leagued with Rome for the attainment of this end. At home Elizabeth had to contend with a jealous Par- liament, a factious nobility, an empty purse, and a divided people. The people generally were rude and uneducated; the language was undeveloped; education was chiefly confined to nobles and priests; the poor were oppressed by feudal laws. No great work in English history, poetry, or philosophy had yet ap- peared. The comforts and luxuries of life were scarcely enjoyed even by the rich. Chimneys were just begin- ning to be used. The people slept on mats of straw; they ate without forks on pewter or wooden platters; they drank neither tea nor coffee, but drank what their ancestors did in the forests of Germany,——beer; their houses, thatched with straw, were dark, dingy, and uncomfortable. Commerce was small; manufactures were in their infancy; the coin was debased, and money was scarce; trade was in the hands of monop- olists; coaches were almost unknown; the roads were impassable except for horsemen, and were infested with robbers; only the rich could afford wheaten bread; agricultural implements were of the most primitive kind; animal food, for the greater part of the year, was eaten only in a salted state; enterprise of all kinds was restricted within narrow limits; beggars and vagrants were so numerous that the most strin- gent laws were necessary to protect the people against them; profane swearing was nearly universal; the methods of executing capital punishments were re- volting; the rudest sports amused the people; the parochial clergy were of no helpful grade; country squires sought nothing higher than fox-hunting; it took several days for letters to reach the distant coun- ties; the population numbered only four millions; there was nothing grand and imposing in art but the palaces of nobles and the Gothic monuments of mediæval Europe. Such was "Merrie England" on the accession of Elizabeth to the throne,——a rude nation of feudal nobles, rural squires, and ignorant people, who toiled for a mere pittance on the lands of cold, unsympa- thetic masters; without books, without schools, without privileges, without rights, except to breathe the com- mon air and indulge in coarse pleasures and religious holidays and village fêtes. On the other hand, it must be admitted that the people were loyal, religious, and brave; that they had the fear of God before their eyes, and felt personal responsibility to Him, so that crimes were uncommon except among the lowest and most abandoned; that family ties were strong; that simple hospitalities were everywhere exercised; that healthy pleasures stimu- lated no inordinate desires; that the people, if poor, had enough to eat and drink; that service was not held to be degrading; that churches were not deserted; that books, what few there were, did not enervate or demoralize; that science did not attempt to ignore the moral government of God; that laws were a terror to evil-doers; that philanthropists did not seek to reform the world by mechanical inventions, or elevate society by upholding the majesty of man rather than the majesty of God,——teaching the infallibility of congre- gated masses of ignorance, inexperience, and conceit. Even in those rude times there were the certitudes of religious faith, of domestic endearments, of patriotic devotion, of respect for parents, of loyalty to rulers, of kindness to the poor and miserable; there were the latent fires of freedom, the impulses of generous enthu- siasm, and resignation to the ills which could not be removed. So that in England, in Elizabeth's time, there was a noble material for Christianity and art and literature to work upon, and to develop a civilization such as had not existed previously on this earth,——a civilization destined to spread throughout the world in new institutions, inventions, laws, language, and litera- ture, binding hostile races together, and proclaiming the sovereignty of intelligence,——the νοȗς κρατ∊ȋ of the old Ionian philosophers,——with that higher sove- reignty which Moses base upon the Ten Command- ments, and that higher law still which Jesus taught upon the Mount. Yet with all this fine but rude material for future greatness, it was nevertheless a glaring fact that the condition of England on the accession of Elizabeth was most discouraging——a poor and scattered agricultural nation, without a navy of any size, without a regular army, with factions in every quarter, with struggling and contending religious parties, with a jealous parlia- ment of unenlightened country squires; yet a nation seriously threatened by the most powerful monarchies of the Continent, who detested the doctrines which were then taking root in the land. Against the cabals of Rome, the navies of Spain, and the armies of France, ——alike hostile and dangerous,——England could make but a feeble show of physical forces, and was protected only by her insular position. The public dangers were so imminent that there was needed not only a strong hand, but a stout heart and a wise head at the helm. Excessive caution was necessary, perpetual vigilance was imperative; a single imprudent measure might be fatal in such exigencies. And this accounts for the vacillating policy of Elizabeth, so often condemned by historians. It did not proceed from weakness of head, but from real necessity occasioned by constant embarrassments and changing circumstances. Accord- ing to all the canons of expediency, it was the sign of a sagacious ruler to temporize and promise and deceive in that sad perplexity. Governments, thus far in the history of nations, have been carried on upon different principles from those that bind the conduct of indi- viduals, especially when the weak contend against the strong. This, abstractly, is not to be defended. Gov- ernmens and individuals alike are bound by the same laws of immutable morality in their general relation; but the rules of war are different from the rules of peace. Governments are expediencies to suit peculiar crisees and exigencies. A man assaulted by robbers would be a fool to fall back on the passive virtues of non-resistance. Elizabeth had to deal both with religious bigots and unscrupulous kings. We may be disgusted with the course she felt it politic to pursue, but it proved successful. A more generous and open course might have precipitated an attack when she was unpre- pared and defenceless. Her dalliances and expedi- ences and dissimulations delayed the evil day, until she was ready for the death-struggle; and when the tempest of angry human forces finally broke upon her defenceless head, she was saved only by a storm of wind and rain which Providence kindly and oppor- tunely sent. Had the "Invincible Armada" been per- mitted to invade England at the beginning of her reign, there would probably have been another Spanish con- quest. What chance would the untrained militia of a scattered population, without fortresses or walled cities or military leaders of skill, ave had against the veteran soldiers who were marshalled under Philip II., with all the experiences learned in the wars of Charles V. and in the conquest of Peru and Mexico, aided, too, by the forces of France and the terrors of the Vatican and the money of the Flemish manufacturers? It was the dictate of self-preservation which induced Elizabeth to prevaricate, and to deceive the powerful monarchs who were in league against her. If ever lying and cheat- ing were justifiable, it was in the sixteenth century. So that I cannot be hard on the embarrassed Queen for a policy which on the strictest principles of morality it would be difficult to defend. It was a dark age of conspiracies, rebellions, and cabals. In dealing with the complicated relations of government in that day, there were no recognized principles but those of expe- diency. Even in our own times, expediency rather than right too often seems to guide nations. It is not just and fair, therefore, to expect from a sovereign, in Queen Elizabeth's time, that openness and fairness which are the result only of a higher national civil- ization. What would be blots on government to- day were not deemed blots in the sixteenth century. Elizabeth must be judged by the standard of her age, not of our, in her official and public acts. We must remember, also, that this great Queen was indorsed, supported, and even instructed by the ablest and wisest and most patriotic statesmen that were known to her generation. Lord Burleigh, her prime minister, was a marvel of political insight, industry, and fidelity. If he had not the command- ing genius of Thomas Cromwell or the ambitious foresight of Richelieu, he surpassed the statesmen of his day in patriotic zeal and in disinterested labors,—— not to extend the boundaries of the empire, but to develop national resources and make the country strong for defence. He was a plodding, wary, cautious, far-seeing, long-headed old statesman, whose opinions it was not safe for Elizabeth to oppose; and although she was arbitrary and opinionated herself, she gen- erally followed Burleigh's counsels,——unwillingly at times, but firmly when she perceived the necessity; for she was, with all her pertinacity, open to con- viction of reason. I cannot deny that she sometimes headed off her prime-minister and deceived him, and otherwise complicated the difficulties that beset her reign; but this was only when she felt a strong personal repugnance to the state measures which he found it imperative to pursue. After all, Elizabeth was a woman, and the woman was not utterly lost in the Queen. It is greatly to her credit, however, that she retained the services of this old statesman for forty years, and that she filled the great offices in the State and Church with men of experience, genius, and wisdom. She made Parker the Archbishop of Canterbury,——a man of remarkable moderation and breadth of mind, whose reforms were carried on with- out exciting hostilities, and have survived fanati- cisms and hostile attacks of generations. Walsingham, her Ambassador at Paris, and afterwards her secretary of state, ferreted out the plots of the Jesuits and the in- trigues of hostile courts, and rendered priceless service by his acuteness and diligence. Lord Effingham, one of the Howards, defeated the "Invincible Armada." Sir Thomas Gresham managed her finances so ably that she was never without money. Coke was her attorney. Sir Nicholas Bacon——the ablest lawyer in the realm, and a staunch Protestant——was her lord-keeper; while his illustrious son, the immortal Francis Bacon, though not adequately rewarded, was always consulted by the Queen in great legal difficulties. I say nothing of those elegant and gallant men who were the ornaments of her court, and in some instances the generals of her armies and admirals of her navies,——Sackville, Raleigh, Sidney, not to mention Essex and Leicester, all of whom were distinguished for talents and services; men who had no equals in their respective provinces; so gifted that it is difficult to determine whether the greatness of her reign was more owing to the talents of the ministers or to the wisdom of the Queen herself. Unless she had been a great woman, I doubt whether she would have discerned the merits of these men, and employed them in her service and kept them so long in office. It was by these great men that Elizabeth was ruled, ——so far as she was ruled at all,——not by favorites, like her successors, James and Charles. The favorites at the court of Elizabeth were rarely trusted with great powers unless they were men of signal abilities, and regarded as such by the nation itself. While she lavished favors upon them,——sometimes to the disgust of the old no- bility,——she was never ruled by them, as James was by Buckingham, and Louis XV, by Madame de Pompadour. Elizabeth was not above coquetry, it is true; but after toying with Leicester and Raleigh,——never, though, to the serious injury of her reputation as a woman,——she would retire to the cabinet of her ministers and yield to the sage suggestions of Burleigh and Walsingham. At her council-board she was an entirely different woman from what she was among her courtiers: there she would tolerate no flattery, and was controlled only by reason and good sense,——as practical as Burleigh himself, and as hard-working and business-like; cold, intellectual, and clear-headed, utterly without enthu- siasm. Perhaps the greatest service which Elizabeth ren- dered to the English nation and the cause of civilization was her success in establishing Protestantism as the religion of the land, against so many threatening ob- stacles. In this she was aided and directed by some of the most enlightened divines that England ever had . The liturgy of Cranmer was re-established, preferments were conferred on married priests, the learned and pious were raised to honor, eminent scholars and theologians were invited to England, the Bible was revised and freely circulated, and an alliance was formed between learning and religion by the great men who adorned the universities. Though inclined to ritualism, Eliza- beth was broad and even moderate in reform, desiring, according to the testimony of Bacon, that all extremes of idolatry and superstition should be avoided on the one hand, and levity and contempt on the other; that all Church matters should be examined without sophis- tical niceties or subtle speculations. The basis of the English Church as thus established by Elizabeth was half-way between Rome and Geneva, ——a compromise, I admit; but all established institu- tions and governments accepted by the people are based on compromise. How can there be even family gov- ernment without some compromise, inasmuch as hus- band and wife cannot always be expected to think exactly alike? At any rate, the Church established by Elizabeth was signally adapted to the wants and genius of the English people,——evangelical, on the whole, in its creed, though not Calvinistic; unobtrusive in its forms, easy in its discipline, and aristocratic in its government; subser- vient to bishops, but really governed by the enlightened few who really govern all churches, Independent, Pres- byterian or Methodist; supported by the State, yet wielding only spiritual authority; giving its influence to uphold the crown and the established institutions of the country; conservative, yet earnestly Protestant. In the sixteenth century it was the Church of reform, of progress, of advancing and liberalizing thought. Eliza- beth herself was a zealous Protestant, protecting the cause whenever it was persecuted, encouraging Hu- guenots, and not disdaining the Presbyterians of Scot- land. She was not as generous to the Protestants of Holland and France as we could have wished, for she was obliged to husband her resources, and hence she often seemed parsimonious,; but she was the acknowledged head of the reform movement in Eu- rope. Her hostility to Rome and Roman influence was inexorable. She may not have carried reforms as far as the Puritans desired, and who can wonder at that? Their spirit was aggressive, revolutionary, bitter, and, pushed to its logical sequences, was hostility to the throne itself, as proved by their whole subsequent his- tory until Cromwell was dead. And this hostility Burleigh perceived as well as the Queen, which doubt- less led to severities, persecutions and executions that our age cannot pretend to justify. The Queen did dislike and persecute the Puritans, not, I think, so much because they made war on the surplice, liturgy, and divine right of bishops, as because they were at heart opposed to all absolute authority both in State and Church, and when goaded by persecu- tion would hurl even kings from their thrones. It is to be regretted that Elizabeth was so severe on those who differed from her; she had no right to insist on uni- formity with her conscience in those matters which are above any human authority. The Reformation in its severest logical consequences, in its grandest de- ductions, affirms the right of private judgment as the mighty pillar of its support. All parties, Presbyte- rian as well as Episcopalian, sought uniformity; they only differed as to its standard. With the Queen and ministers and prelates it was the laws of the land; with the Puritans, the decree of provincial and national synods. Hence, if Elizabeth insisted that her subjects should conform to her notions and the ordinances of Parliament and convocations, she showed a spirit which was universal. She was superior even in toleration to all contemporaneous sovereigns, Catholic or Protestant, man or woman. Contrast her persecutions of Catholics and Puritans with the per- secution by Catherine de Médicis and Charles IX. and Philip II. and Ferdinand II.; or even with that under the Regent Murray of Scotland, when churches and abbey were ruthlessly destroyed. Contrast her Arch- bishop of Canterbury with the religious dictator of Scotland. She kindled no auto-da-fé, like the Span- iards; she incited no wholesale massacre, like the de- mented fury of France; she had a loving care of her subjects that no religious bigotry could suppress. She did not seek to exterminate Catholics or Puritans, but simply to build up the Church of England as the shield and defence and enlargement of Protestantism in times of unmitigated religious ferocity,——a Protestant- ism that has proved the bulwark of European liberties, as it was the foundation of all progress in England. In giving an impulse to this great emancipating move- ment, even if she dd not push it to its remote logical end, Elizabeth was a benefactor of her country and of mankind, and is not unjustly called a nursing-mother of the Church,——being so regarded by Protestants, not in England merely, but by the Continent of Europe. When was ever a religious revolution effected, or a national church established, with so little bloodshed? When have ever such great changes proved so popular and so beneficial, and, I may add, so permanent? After all the revolutions in English thought and life for three hundred years, the Church as established by Elizabeth is still dear to the great body of English people, ad has survived every agitation. And even many things which the Puritans sought to sweep away——the music of the choir, organs, and chants, even the holidays of venerated ages——are now revived by the descendants of the Puritans with ancient ardor; showing how permanent are such festivals as Christ- mas and Easter in the heart of Christendom, and how hopeless it is to eradicate what the Church and Chris- tianity, from its earliest ages, have sanctioned and commended.
Futures Slide Amid Euro, Cable Rout; Dollar Soars To 2018 High
Stocks reversed earlier gains, turning lower in Europe as U.S. futures pared as many as 20 points of upside in overnight trading before turning lower on Monday, following a mixed session across most of Asia as investors weighed the outlook for equities after a roller coaster few weeks. Volumes were subdued with many banks closed for Veteran's Day in the US. Futures on the Nasdaq were flat after large-cap tech shares on Friday dragged the gauge down 1.7%. Europe saw a sharp selloff in both the EUR and GBP this morning, with the EURUSD breaching 1.1300 to the downside, the lowest print since July 2017 as Brexit deal momentum once again faded, while the Italian budget negotiation failed to make progress ahead of another looming deadline. For the euro, Italy was the main focus, with Rome facing a Tuesday deadline to submit a revised budget to the EU, though it has so far refused to cut the draft budget deficit, setting the stage for a collision with Brussels. Bernd Berg, strategist at Woodman Asset Management, predicted the euro would tumble below $1.10 from the current $1.126 “as renewed eurozone and Brexit angst and a diverging economic outlook with a strong U.S. economy versus a weakening eurozone economy will trigger further euro selling pressure.” The drop in Europe's Stoxx 600 Index was led by household goods and real estate shares. Major European indices were mixed, with Germany’s DAX (-0.8%) lagging, weighed on by Infineon (-5.3%) following a projected revenue decline and SAP (-3.2%) after the company stated they are taking over Qualtrics International. UK’s FTSE 100 (+0.2%) outperformed thanks to the weaker pound and as several big names are in the green (BHP +2.8%, Shire +2.3%, Anglo American +2.0%) outweighing the significant losses for British American Tobacco (-9.1%) and Imperial Brands (-4.1%) following reports of FDA commissioner pursuing a ban on menthol cigarettes. Similarly, sectors are mixed with IT names lagging and energy names outperforming, with FTSE giant BP (+1.8%) benefiting from the rebound in oil. Italian bonds fell ahead of supply and the government’s deadline to resubmit its 2019 budget on Tuesday where there appeared to be no progress, while Bunds follow gilts higher on a lack of progress in the Brexit talks; The 10y spread to Germany widened 4bps to 303bps while Bund gains were spurred by gilts, which outperform by 3bps as the latest Brexit impasse lowers the chances of a BOE rate hike before November 2019, even as the next 25bps BOE hike remains fully priced in for November 2019. Markets were also spooked by reports that Banca Carige would need around 400 million euros ($451 million) to plug a hole in its capital base and Italy’s deposit protection fund could fill only part of it. CRG.IM was halted, limited down as a result. That raises the specter of a banking crisis in the euro zone’s third-biggest economy, keeping Italy’s bond yield spread over Germany - the risk premium attached to Italian assets - around the psychologically key 300 basis-point mark. Italian bank shares fell 0.6 percent Earlier in the session, the MSCI Asia equities index also dropped, though shares in Japan and Hong Kong finished in a tight range, while Chinese stocks - for once - bucked the trend closing 1.2% higher. While Shanghai was lifted over one percent by regulators’ promise to simplify share buybacks, MSCI’s world equity index was down 0.3% and Asian markets broadly weakened following Friday’s weak Wall Street close. China closed in the green even as investors fretted about signs of slowing growth in China where e-commerce giant Alibaba was the latest to raise alarm bells, with the slowest ever annual sales growth during its Singles Day shopping event. Australia's ASX 200 (+0.3%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.1%) both recovered from the early declines and traded marginally positive although weakness in tech and financials capped gains in Australia, while recent flows into JPY restricted upside for the Japanese benchmark. As noted earlier, the Shanghai Comp. (+1.2%) and Hang Seng (+0.1%) were initially lower amid growth and trade-related uncertainty, while the PBoC also recently noted that China’s economy is under increasing downward pressure. However, Chinese markets then recovered as officials continued to pledge measures to support businesses including wider tax cuts and with China also upbeat following record-breaking Singles Day sales. With Asia mixed and European risk assets sliding, the Bloomberg dollar index printed fresh YTD highs: “King dollar has staged a return,” Credit Agricole's FX strategist Valentin Marinov said, adding that investors had piled back into the dollar after last week’s Fed meeting confirmed a rate-tightening path. "Euro and pound are both hurt by political risk and that is aggravating underperformance versus the dollar,” Marinov added. Speculators’ net long dollar positions rose last week to the highest since January 2016, according to the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. The pound slumped, dropping below $1.29 for the first time in more than a week following a report that four more U.K. government ministers are on the brink of resigning over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans, and that May was forced to abandon plans for an emergency cabinet meeting to approve a Brexit agreement, the Independent news website reported, stoking fears that the government might not be able to secure a deal that satisfied both the European Union and members of the ruling party. The opposition Labour Party said that if May’s Brexit deal was voted down in parliament, it would push for a national election and possibly also another referendum. The latest futures data showed net short sterling positions registered their biggest weekly rise in 1-1/2 months. Deutsche Bank analysts, however, predicted more pain, telling clients: “not enough risk is priced into sterling given the parliamentary problems ahead”. The other big move was in commodities, where Saudi Arabia’s energy minister took some pressure off last week’s oil price drop, saying on Sunday that Riyadh could reduce supply to world markets by 500,000 barrels per day in December, a global reduction of about 0.5 percent. That jolted Brent crude futures up more than 2% to a high of $71.88 per barrel. However, the supply cut may prove to be a temporary solution to falling prices as global growth slows, with two of the world’s biggest economies - Germany and Japan - expected to report a contraction in output in coming days. “Supply-side surprises appear to be the main culprit, but concern that global demand is slowing may also be creeping into markets and weighing on risk appetite,” the ANZ analysts said. Looking ahead, Treasuries aren’t trading due to Veterans’ Day holiday. UGI Corp. and AXA Equitable are among scheduled earnings Market Snapshot
S&P500 futures little changed at 2,778.50
STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 364.86
MXAP down 0.4% to 151.66
MXAPJ down 0.5% to 481.78
Nikkei up 0.09% to 22,269.88
Topix down 0.06% to 1,671.95
Hang Seng Index up 0.1% to 25,633.18
Shanghai Composite up 1.2% to 2,630.52
Sensex down 0.8% to 34,867.39
Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 5,941.30
Kospi down 0.3% to 2,080.44
German 10Y yield fell 2.0 bps to 0.387%
Euro down 0.7% to $1.1256
Brent Futures up 1.2% to $71.05/bbl
Italian 10Y yield rose 0.8 bps to 3.033%
Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.2 bps to 1.586%
Brent Futures up 1.3% to $71.06/bbl
Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,207.13
U.S. Dollar Index up 0.6% to 97.47
Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
As well as increasing domestic pressure on May to ditch her Brexit plan or face defeat in Parliament, EU ministers in Brussels on Monday didn’t fix a specific date for an extraordinary summit. There’s still a need for more clarity from the U.K. before the bloc’s leaders convene to sign off a deal, an EU official said
Saudi Arabia expressed the need for oil producers to cut 1 million barrels a day from October levels and announced fewer shipments from next month, as OPEC and its allies began laying the groundwork to reduce oil supply in 2019, reversing an almost year-long expansion
China signaled tougher management of the yuan, dropping a phrase underlining the importance of market forces from a key policy report for the first time in five years
The most destructive series of wildfires in California history have killed at least 31 people and forced tens of thousands more to evacuate, officials said, as firefighters struggled to gain control in swirling winds
President Donald Trump left World War I commemorations in France after a weekend that exposed tensions with U.S. allies in Europe over his decision to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate- range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. By the time he flew home on Sunday he appeared isolated and, by some, scorned
Asian equity markets eventually traded mixed but with gains limited as some cautiousness lingered from the uninspiring performance on Wall St last Friday, where ongoing global growth concerns and continued declines in commodities weighed on sentiment. ASX 200 (+0.3%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.1%) both recovered from the early declines and traded marginally positive although weakness in tech and financials capped gains in Australia, while recent flows into JPY restricted upside for the Japanese benchmark. Elsewhere, Shanghai Comp. (+0.8%) and Hang Seng (+0.1%) were initially lower amid growth and trade-related uncertainty, while the PBoC also recently noted that China’s economy is under increasing downward pressure. However, Chinese markets then recovered as officials continued to pledge measures to support businesses including wider tax cuts and with China also upbeat following record-breaking Singles Day sales. Finally, 10yr JGBs were relatively flat with price action contained as pressure from the improvement in regional sentiment was counterbalanced by the BoJ presence in the market. Top Asia News - SoftBank to Raise $21 Billion in Wireless IPO to Invest More - Pilot Grounded Before Delhi-London Flight for Failing Booze Test - China’s LVMH Wannabe to Slow M&AAfter $4 Billion Spree Major European indices have turned lower, with Germany’s DAX (-0.8%) lagging, weighed on by Infineon (-5.3%) following a projected revenue decline and SAP (-3.2%) after the company stated they are taking over Qualtrics International. UK’s FTSE 100 (+0.2%) is outperforming amid currency effects and as several big names are in the green (BHP +2.8%, Shire +2.3%, Anglo American +2.0%) outweighing the significant losses for British American Tobacco (-9.1%) and Imperial Brands (-4.1%) following reports of FDA commissioner pursuing a ban on menthol cigarettes. Similarly, sectors are mixed with IT names lagging and energy names outperforming, with FTSE giant BP (+1.8%) benefiting from the rebound in oil. In terms of individual equities, Telecom Italia (+4.6%) are leading the Stoxx 600 after reports in Italian press that the Italian government are pushing a fibre deal with the Co. Elsewhere, Rio Tinto (+3.4%) rose to the top of the UK benchmark following the completion of a share-buyback programme. Top European News
Merkel Bid to Make Germany Inc. World Champion Hits EU Snags
Italy’s Industry Output Drop Makes It Harder to Convince EU
Hedge Fund Wins as European Luxury Goods Hit a Wall in China
Cerberus Plans to Buy Spain’s Altamira, Solvia: Expansion
In FX, the Dollar is firmly back in the ascendency, albeit partly due to underperformance in major counterparts due to specific bearish factors. However, the DXY has extended recovery gains beyond 97.000 and through its previous ytd peak to top out just shy of 97.600 at 97.583, with bulls now eyeing relatively strong Fib resistance around 97.871 ahead of 98.000.
GBP- More Brexit-related weakness in Sterling has tipped Cable through another big figure, and just under 1.2850 at one stage, while EuGbp has rebounded further from recent sub-0.8700 lows towards 0.8775 on latest threats of revolt within the UK Government and time running out fast to reach a withdrawal deal with the EU. From a technical perspective, nearest support in Cable comes in around 1.2810, which coincides with a Fib and decent option expiry interest.
EUR- The single currency is also under considerable pressure, and after triggering stops at 1.1300 vs the Greenback, losses accumulated quickly to 1.1250 where hefty bids stalled further downside for a while. The catalyst, ongoing Italian-EU budget angst ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for the Government to resubmit a fiscal plan, and another meeting between key Roman officials later today. Note also, 1.1 bn option expiries roll off at the 1.1250 strike, with the same size capping any rebounds to 1.1300.
CHF/AUD- Both around 0.4-0.45% weaker vs a generally bid Usd, with the France testing 1.1000 and Aud back below 0.7200 amidst renewed weakness in the Yuan.
NZD- The Kiwi is holding up moderately better than its antipodean peer, as Nzd/Usd maintains 0.6700+ status (just) and the Aud/Nzd cross retests support/bids around 1.0700.
CAD/JPY- Relative outperformers, or at least keeping pace with the Usd as the Loonie pivots 1.3200 and derives underlying support from a rebound in oil prices, while the latter pares losses from circa 114.20 to just above 114.00 due to its greater safe-haven allure.
EM- Broad declines in regional currencies vs the resurgent Dollar, but with Usd/Try slipping back from 5.5000+ levels in wake of Turkish current account data revealing another y/y improvement.
In commodities, WTI (+0.4%) and Brent (+1.0%) bounced back with a vengeance as markets had the first opportunity to digest developments from the JMMC meeting during the weekend. The complex was on track for the longest losing streak since 1984, before Saudi Energy Minister Al-Falih said the kingdom plans to reduce oil supply by 500K BPD in December due to a seasonal demand decline. Meanwhile, the JMMC decided not to take decisions on market adjustments on Sunday, with UAE’s Energy Minister noting that 2019 will require a change in OPEC strategy, adding that the new strategy is definitely not going to involve hiking output. Furthermore, in early European trade, the Kuwaiti Oil Minister stated that oil exporters discussed some kind of supply cut for next year but no volume was mentioned. Note: weekly API and DoE inventory data have been pushed back by a day due to US Veterans’ day. Elsewhere, gold (-0.1%) fell to levels last seen in mid-October as the yellow metal tracked USD moves with the DXY reaching new YTD highs in early European trade. Meanwhile, copper is taking a breather from the recent sell-off and nickel extended losses to hit 11-month lows, pressured by concerns of slowing Chinese demand for steel. At the weekend JMMC meeting, the committee decided not to take decisions on market adjustment, while Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Al-Falih said it is too premature for OPEC to discuss production cuts but stated that Saudi will reduce oil supply by 500k bpd in December amid seasonal decline in demand. US Event Calendar
Nothing major scheduled due to Veterans' Day holiday
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Welcome to a new week and one where Brexit seems likely to grab a disproportional amount of the headlines. As I was scouring the weekend papers for news on this bewildering subject I stumbled across an article that innocently said that the British and the Irish are the top two countries in the EU for the percentage of the population that drink alcohol least once a week. It felt quite apt given the current situation. Also in the same Eurostat survey it suggested that the Dutch are the least likely to eat fruit and veg every day which given how tall they are perhaps dispels the myth that you need them! The Italians are one of the worst for amounts of exercise (Scandis generally the best) but they have the skinniest population. If anyone in Italy can give me the secret of that equation I’d be delighted to hear it. It must be the Mediterranean diet! Talking of Brexit and Italy, two of the main highlights for this week are likely to be the increasingly cul-de-sac Brexit scenarios being wrestled and the deadline for Italy to respond to the EU’s budget deficit demands tomorrow. Data-wise we have CPI reports in the US and Europe as well as Q3 GDP in the latter. Also worth watching is Oil which is in the midst of what is currently a record (daily data to 1983) 10-day successive slump in price. After an OPEC get together yesterday Saudi Arabia signalled that it will reduce oil exports by as much as half a million barrels a day in December as producers increasingly worry about oversupply in 2019. It’ll be interesting if they can persuade others to join them ahead of next month’s semi-annual full gathering. Oil prices (Brent +1.68% and WTI +1.21%) are up this morning on the back of this news. Can it finally close higher today and buck the two week trend? Brexit feels like its entering a crucial stretch and Friday was a bad day for the UK government with the weekend headlines not offering much additional joy. Pro-remain Tory MP Jo Johnson resigned and suggested he wouldn’t support the deal in its current form. The arithmetic around any deal passing through Parliament was already challenging enough without losing pro-remain Conservatives. The weekend media suggests there could be others refusing to vote in favour along those lines with the Sunday Times suggesting four such proremain Government resignations are possible. Basically the deal as it stands is being criticised by both remain and leave Conservatives and also by the DUP. Meanwhile the Labour Party opposition is highly unlikely to vote for it. So a deal being reached with the EU still seems the easy part of the equation. Sterling is down -0.5% in Asia this morning after falling -0.67% on Friday with virtually all of it after the resignation. As a reminder the DB house view is that not enough risk is priced into sterling given the Parliamentary problems ahead. Cabinet ministers have apparently been seeing the proposed text of the deal with the EU over the last few days (seemingly without the Irish section not yet availble) and if PM May can win their approval we could see a formal cabinet meeting early this week to formalise the deal before May makes a statement to the House of Commons. The situation is extremely fluid however especially with the increased backlash internally within the government and with the Irish border issue still outstanding. So these dates could easily (and seem likely to us to) be pushed back. How we get out of this cul-de-sac is very unclear. Moving onto Italy, the government is due to present its new 2019 budget to the EU by tomorrow after being ask to resubmit. That said, Italy has reiterated that it won’t change its 2.4% deficit target for 2019 so it’s not clear what will change. As for US CPI on Wednesday the consensus is for yet another +0.2% mom core reading - the 37th month in a row with such a forecast. The annual rate should however hold at +2.2% yoy – a level that the Fed should feel comfortable with and not change path. In Europe we’ll get the final October CPI revisions in Germany (Tuesday), France, Spain and UK (Wednesday), and the broader Euro Area (Friday). A first look at Q3 GDP in Europe and Germany (Wednesday) will also be worth a close watch. The rest of the week ahead is at the end. This morning in Asia, markets have started the week with a mixed note with the Nikkei and Hang Seng both trading flat, Shanghai Comp (+0.8%) is up while the Kospi (-0.3%) is down. Elsewhere, futures on S&P 500 (+0.4%) are pointing towards a positive start. It is worth noting that today is Veterans Day in the US. The US equity market will remain open but there is a recommended full market close for the Treasury market. Global equities were mixed last week, with US indexes mostly advancing after the US elections but emerging markets underperforming. The DOW led gains and had its best week since March, rallying +2.84% (-0.77% on Friday though), while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ gained +2.11% and +1.06% (-0.94% and -1.67% Friday) respectively. The NYFANG index fell -1.35% (-1.77% Friday) as tech continues to underperform. In Europe, the STOXX 600 advanced +0.46% (-0.37% Friday), though sectors exposed to China lagged with autos and basic resources down -4.38% and -2.21% (-1.89% and -3.41% Friday) respectively. EM equities fell -2.50% overall (-1.85% Friday) while indices in China underperformed with the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite retreating -3.34% and -2.90% (-2.39% and -1.39% Friday) respectively. In fixed income, 10-year Treasuries touched a new 8-year high of 3.237% before retracing slightly, ending the week -2.7bps lower (-5.2bps Friday) at 3.182% while Bunds remained in their recent range and fell -2.1bps on the week (-5.0bps Friday). The US granting of Iran sanctions waivers to eight countries was a big development last week. They will be able to continue importing limited quantities of oil from Iran without running afoul of US laws, boosting the global supply of oil. WTI crude oil prices slid -5.21% (-1.35% Friday), for their tenth consecutive daily loss, the longest such streak on record with daily data going back to 1983. Brent fell -4.30% in unison (-1.34% Friday) though the spread between the two contracts remains near recent wides around $9.85 per barrel. With it being Veterans Day in the US (US stock market open but bond market is closed), it's a quiet start to the week. In Europe, we get France's October Bank of France industry sentiment index. There is no data of note in the US. Away from this, the Fed's Daly is due to speak on the economic outlook while the ECB's Lautenschlaeger, de Guindos and Nouy are also scheduled to speak. EU general-affairs ministers will discuss the latest on Brexit negotiations followed by a press briefing from the EU's Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier. The EC President Juncker will give opening remarks at an economic conference on “Where is Europe headed?”
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