Negative sentiment towards commodities prevailed last week, prompting some investors to cut their losses. While the striking improvement in the US economy and labour market has prompted the Fed to reduce…
ETF Securities Research
stimulus and the market to consider an earlier than originally foreseen rate hike, a stronger US economy should benefit cyclical assets. With most commodities trading at multi-year lows and investors mostly short-positioned, we believe most commodities are looking increasingly attractive at current levels.
Long gold and silver ETPs see US$88mn and US$46mn of outflows on negative sentiment. US non-farm payrolls surprised the market on the upside last week, with 248k new jobs added. While the striking improvement in the US economy and labour market has prompted the Fed to reduce stimulus and the market to consider an earlier than originally foreseen rate hike, a stronger US economy should benefit silver. Over 50% of silver demand comes from industrial applications, with China and the US accounting for over 40% of fabrication demand. We believe silver is looking increasingly attractive at current levels. With the US policy finally normalising albeit alongside the better economic outlook, silver price is also expected to pick up momentum. PGMs (“Platinum Group Metals”) also saw outflows last week, as the sharp drop in price prompted investors to cut losses in their portfolio. However, we believe the current price weakness to be temporary as investors will return to focus on the positive fundamentals. Large deficits are already expected in both markets this year and the recent pick up in global auto sales is likely to exacerbate the situation further. With platinum marginal cost of production close to US$1,400oz (11% above current prices) and prices close to or below pre-strike levels, we see value in both metals.
Nickel bucks the trend as price drops to a six-month low. ETFS Nickel (NICK) received US$4.5mn of inflows last week, bucking the negative trend in industrial metals, as investors see the recent price correction as a buying opportunity. While LME stocks have increased by 37% since the beginning of the year, Indonesia, the biggest producer, is sticking to an ore export ban that has drastically reduced the expected surplus to 10,900 tons from 78,100 tons last year. Meanwhile, ETFS Aluminium (ALUM) and ETFS Copper (COPA) suffered US$130mn of combined outflows as negative sentiment towards industrial metals persisted. Although China’s official manufacturing PMI remained unchanged at 51.1 in September, fears of a slowdown in the economy have weighed on metals lately. With most commodities now trading at multi-year lows, we believe it is a good time to increase the exposure to this asset class.
Profit taking drives US$7mn of outflows from long coffee ETPs. Prices have been rising on the back of fears that continued dry weather in Brazil, the biggest producer, might negatively impact next year crop. Brazil’s worst drought in decades saw Arabica coffee prices soaring 88% since the beginning of the year.
Key events to watch this week. The release of the Fed minutes and Bank of England rate decision will be the centre of attention this week as the market judges the timing of the first rate hike in both countries. With US Non-Farm Payrolls surprising the market on the upside last week and the US economy continuing to strengthen, the Fed is likely to tighten earlier than originally anticipated.