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UK consumer morale edges up, but households worry about

finances - survey
LONDON, Nov. 29 (Reuters)
British consumer morale edged up this month, bolstered by a strong labour market, despite
rising concern about household finances, a survey showed on Tuesday.
Pollster YouGov and consultancy Cebr said their barometer of consumer confidence edged
up to 109.4 in November from 109.1 in October, reflecting an increase in measures of job
security and workplace activity.
However, the survey's gauges of household finances edged lower for a second month in a
row, chiming with a report from data company Markit that suggested Britons are becoming
increasingly worried about inflation.
Britain's economy has performed much better than most economists had expected in the
immediate aftermath of June's vote to leave the European Union. But a much bigger test awaits
next year.
Rising inflation caused by the pound's post-referendum plunge looks set to squeeze
household spending and economists said they still expected business investment to slow.
"We shouldn't ignore the clouds on the horizon: both backward and forward-looking
household finance measures dropped for the second successive month," said Stephen Harmston,
head of YouGov reports.
"While the declines are relatively small at the moment, they are ongoing and will be
monitored closely over the coming months."

The World Is Feeling the Might of Chinas Commodity


Traders
SHANGHAI, Nov. 29 (Bloomberg)
The Chinese speculators shaking up global commodity markets are switched-on, flush with
cash and probably not getting enough sleep.
For the second time this year, trading has exploded on the nations exchanges, pushing prices
of everything from zinc to coal to multi-year highs and sending authorities scrambling to deflate
the bubble before it bursts. Metals brokers described panic earlier this month as the frenzy spread
to markets in London and New York, prompting wild swings in prices that show no signs of
abating.
While billions of yuan have poured in from herd-like Chinese retail investors who show little
regard for market fundamentals, brokers and traders say even more is coming from an expanding
army of deep-pocketed hedge funds. Theyre chasing better returns in commodities as stocks and
real estate fade, often using algorithms and trading late into the night, when markets in London
and New York are most active.
There is no doubt that the price moves and the bigger volumes worldwide are being driven
by the Chinese, and by professional speculators and financial players, said Tiger Shi, managing
partner at brokerage BANDS Financial Ltd., which counts several of those funds as clients. The
western hedge funds and institutional investors dont really know whats going on. Often they
were used to trading macro factors or Fed policy, but now they find they have fewer advantages.
Shi, previously head of metals in Asia at Jefferies Group LLC and Newedge Financial Inc.,
estimates that China may have more than 5,000 hedge funds active in commodities. At least 10
manage assets of more than 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion).
The use of algorithmic trading, in which computers execute multiple orders in milliseconds,
is turbo-charging volume and volatility, according to Fu Peng, a portfolio manager at Lianzhan
Global Macro Fund Management Co. About a third of activity on Chinese exchanges is executed
by automated commands, which generates more volume and greater momentum on global
markets, Shi estimates.
A recent example was on Nov. 11. Copper in Shanghai jumped by the most since trading
began in 2004 amid a surge in volume. On the London Metal Exchange, it gained as much as 7.6
percent, before sinking 1.7 percent in the Asian evening. The gap between the days high and low
was more than $500, the widest in five years, and the intensity of the swing was just as big in
New York futures.