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Leading index reveals commodity price burden is easing, says Westpac

Posted on 23 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the Australian economy still appears set for more sub-trend growth, a survey has found that sentiment improved in May as the commodity price burden began to ease.
The monthly Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index showed that the expected six-month annualised growth rate, which assesses likely growth against the long-term trend, had improved from 1.19 per cent below trend in April to minus 0.42 per cent in May — the best reading since October. The index had bottomed in March at -1.53 per cent — its weakest print in five years — but has improved in ensuing months as commodity prices regained their footing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Baltic index continues to fall on lower capesize demand

Posted on 21 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, continued its fall Monday on weaker demand for capesize vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down 5 points, or 0.85 percent, at 582 points.
The capesize index fell 30 points, or 3.24 percent, to 897 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $218 to $6,315. The panamax index was flat at 546 points………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Multi-asset managers turn to passives for commodity exposure

Posted on 16 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Multi-managers hoping to take advantage of the recent commodities bull run and rebuild their exposure have been forced to allocate to passive vehicles, as many active equity fund managers are holding “material underweights” to the unloved energy and mining sectors.
The Bloomberg Commodity index, which tracks returns from 22 raw materials, recorded a 21% gain over the six months since the lows of January, when concerns about China’s slowdown weighed heavily on the sector. There have been gains across the board as supply constraints and production cuts have driven up prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities Slightly Decreased in May due to Fundamental Factors

Posted on 10 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities slightly decreased in May, driven by supply factors and macroeconomic events, according to Credit Suisse Asset Management. The Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return performance was slightly negative for the month, with 11 out of 22 Index constituents posting losses.
Industrial Metals was the worst performing sector, down 7.27%, with all sector commodities yielding negative returns, as demand concerns out of China persisted. Supplies also remained ample, broadly weighing on base metals. Precious Metals declined 7.07%, led lower by Silver, amid a strengthening U.S. Dollar and Chinese industrial demand concerns. (Press Release)

Commodities Rally Looks Strong and Broad on the Charts

Posted on 09 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It’s not just gold and oil: Agricultural products are on the rise. Even Deere and DuPont are up. Not many individual investors have experienced trading in the commodities pits, but they should pay attention to what is happening there right now. Commodities from sugar to soybeans look quite strong, and that is giving commodities-related stocks a boost, too.
You don’t have to have conviction on pork-belly futures to participate. The PowerShares DB Agriculture fund holds positions in a broad array of agricultural commodities, and after a choppy May it erupted higher two weeks ago……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodities are the best performing asset class.

Posted on 07 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After years of disappointment, evidence that some investors are again seeking broad exposure. Here’s an unfamiliar phrase: commodities are the best performing asset class. Yes, it’s true. In the year 2016, total returns from the Bloomberg Commodity Index are over 11 per cent. Compare that to global bonds, at about 6 per cent, and global equities at just over 2 per cent.
The index has pushed higher thanks to components such as oil, gold, soyabeans and zinc. On Monday, the benchmark was up 21 per cent from its January low, entering a bull market. It is the strongest start to any year since the notorious commodities price spike of 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Metals on a back footing as Chinese PMI data disappoints

Posted on 02 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The base metals remain in consolidation mode, the corrections seen in May have for the most part halted for now, but rebounds are struggling to hold on to gains. It appears that there is both bargain hunting and selling into strength going on.
The precious metals remain in correction mode, there is some dip buying around, but follow through buying is absent, palladium is the one attempting to rebound the most but it is a thin market. For now, all but all remain vulnerable, but we expect dips to attract pent-up demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold: What Is It Good For? Absolute Value Or Absolutely Nothing?

Posted on 01 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold bullion is up 15% so far in 2016. This rise is particularly interesting when you consider that the derivatives of gold, such as gold and silver mining companies, have bounced off of even deeper lows than the metals far more aggressively.
For instance, the NYSE ARCA Gold Bugs Index, a representation of the mining companies, is up over 80% YTD. Conversations about gold often resemble an argument about religion with the believers and the non-believers rarely seeing eye to eye. Typically, the believers are so adamant that the non-believers are left with only one conclusion: being long gold is similar to joining a cult………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global hedge funds recover in April on resurging energy commodities

Posted on 05 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global hedge funds recovered in April with the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index gaining +0.41% last month (-1.47% YTD), while the HFRX Market Directional Index gained +5.31% during the same period (-1.58% YTD) on resurgent energy and commodities.
In its monthly report, Hedge Fund Research said that the global financial markets posted mixed performance in April and added that both the Japanese yen and British pound sterling surged against the US$. Global equities posted mixed results, with gains in Europe offset by weakness in Asia, while gains across large and small cap indices were offset by weakness in technology; reported earnings were also mixed, with weakness in Apple & Twitter offset by strength in Amazon………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities are roaring back

Posted on 04 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM) April 2016: Commodities are roaring back and investors are taking note. Soybeans entered a bull market on bad weather in South America. Silver prices have rallied more than any other metal this year after three straight annual losses.
Iron ore jumped above $70 a metric ton and copper is near a one-month high on signs of improving Chinese demand. Vietnam drought boosted coffee prices. Oil is trading near levels not seen in five months as U.S. output dropped to the lowest since October 2014. Put it all together, and the Bloomberg Commodity Index, a measure of returns for 22 commodities, jumped 8.5% in April - the biggest monthly gain since December 2010………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities rally in April, but will it last?

Posted on 04 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) recorded its best performing month for a year and the second best April on record. The index is up 15.5% since 29th February 2016, marking the biggest consecutive two months in almost seven years since May-June 2009 when it gained 20.4%.
According to data from S&P Dow Jones Indices, the Dow Jones Commodity Index and S&P GSCI total return indices also saw positive performances with gains of 9.1% and 10.1%, respectively. However, the rally could be short lived, proving hard to sustain as a result of poor fundamentals underpinning the commodities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities return to their winning ways as global gluts wane

Posted on 02 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The global gluts that have plagued markets from crude oil to zinc are finally starting to subside, sending commodities to their biggest monthly gain since December 2010. The Bloomberg Commodity Index, a measure of returns for 22 components, climbed as much as 1.1% on Friday to the highest since November.
The gauge climbed 8.5% in April, beating returns for indexes of global equities, highyield and investment grade, bonds, Treasuries and all major currencies. Oil in New York posted the biggest monthly gain in a year, and gold reached the highest in more than a year. The brighter picture for raw materials comes as the economy stabilises in China, the world’s top consumer of metals, grains and energy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities Increased in March due to Positive Fundamental Factors

Posted on 13 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities increased in March, largely driven by decreasing supply expectations and weather fundamentals supporting the energy and agriculture sectors, according to Credit Suisse Asset Management. The Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return performance was positive for the month, with 17 out of 22 Index constituents posting gains.
Energy was the best performing sector, up 7.84%, led by Brent Crude Oil, due to reports of an upcoming meeting in April among OPEC and non-OPEC nations to discuss a potential cap on production. Natural Gas increased due to continued production declines, which helped improve the outlook for the supply and demand balance. In addition, an unusual cold snap in the U.S. Northeast at the beginning of spring improved demand expectations. (Press Release)

Kiwi commodities slip in March as dairy sours

Posted on 06 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After flirting with recovery in February, New Zealand’s commodities sector took a tumble last month as dairy prices fell further. The basket of commodities tracked by ANZ fell 1.3 per cent in March in US dollar terms, taking a turn for the worse following revised growth of 0.5 per cent in February, adjusted from 0.4 per cent.
Economists had forecast 0.4 per cent growth for the index, and while beef prices saw gains of 3.1% from the previous month, prices for dairy, New Zealand’s, biggest export sector, plummeted 4.5 per cent, with seafood prices piling on more pain with a fall of 1.6 per cent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Baltic index rises on steady rates for capesizes, panamaxes

Posted on 06 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Tuesday, helped by firmer rates for bigger vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, rose 16 points or 3.4 percent to 487 points.
While the index has jumped nearly 70 percent since touching its all time low of 290 points on Feb. 10, analysts said the recent recovery being noted in parts of dry bulk market has been primarily fed by seasonal market movements and cannot be relied upon to support the sector throughout the year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Funds Look For a Bottom In Commodity Prices: Scotiabank

Posted on 30 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Scotiabank’s Commodity Price Index edged down in February by -0.3% m/m (-25.0% yr/yr) — the fourth consecutive monthly decline — but is expected to rally significantly in March. Commodity prices have rebounded across a broad front since mid-February amid some easing in concern over the outlook for China’s economy and a weaker U.S. dollar.
“Equally important, hedge & investment funds appear to be looking for reasons to bid commodity prices higher, after the rout of recent years. The Scotiabank Commodity Price Index is currently at a more than a decade low,” said Patricia Mohr, Vice President of Economics and Commodity Market Specialist at Scotiabank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity Crisis Eats into Global Capex

Posted on 18 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The global slump in commodity prices that has seen the benchmark Goldman Sachs Commodity index slump by around 50% over the past 20 months, has already claimed victims in the form of jobs and dividend cuts, profit warnings and credit rating downgrades.
Now Standard & Poor’s says it’s also eaten into capital expenditure plans, and is likely to keep doing so for the next couple of years at least. In a report Thursday it put figures on just how deep that could go. According to a survey by the ratings agency, global capital expenditure by companies across all sectors fell 10% in 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity prices edge up in Feb

Posted on 02 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The decline in Australia’s export commodity prices was interrupted in February. Commodity prices rose by 1.2 per cent in foreign currency terms in the month, figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia show. The increase in February was driven by gold and iron ore prices, although base metals and rural goods also rose in February, the RBA said.
Despite the small rise, which followed a 0.7 per cent drop in January, the RBA’s commodity price index was still down by 22 per cent from a year earlier and by 55 per cent from the peak in mid-2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Here’s the problem with index ETFs

Posted on 02 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Index ETFs have grown in popularity as a play for diversification and dollar-cost averaging. But are they really a safe and smart way to invest? I looked back over the last 23 years and found out it can vary — and it’s important to know why.
Dollar-cost averaging is where you buy a fixed-dollar amount of shares regularly (So, you buy more shares when the stock price is lower and less when it’s higher). Warren Buffett is a fan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Baltic index slips further, hits new record low

Posted on 11 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, extended its record decline for the 12th straight session on Wednesday due to concerns about demand. The Baltic dry index is down about 98 percent from its peak of 11,793 points in May 2008, marking the lowest level since the records began in 1985.
The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, fell by 1 point to 290 points. The dry bulk market is expected to remain under pressure for longer because of weak demand for commodities, particularly from top global importer China………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why January’s Commodity Performance Is Promising

Posted on 03 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Considering commodities were on pace to set the worst January since 1975 at one point, down 14.3% by January 20, the final monthly loss of just 5.2% is impressive. The S&P GSCI Total Return rebounded 10.6%, with nine of the twenty-four commodities posting gains for the month.
Does this mean commodities hit the bottom or that this is just a bounce in a much darker scenario? That probably depends on the oil supply decisions from Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran, in addition to Chinese demand growth, the strength of the dollar and the weather………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New Zealand Commodity Prices Fall For Third Month

Posted on 03 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

New Zealand’s commodity prices decreased for the third consecutive month in January, the results of a survey by ANZ showed Tuesday. The ANZ commodity price index dropped 2.3 percent month-over-month in January, which was worse than the 1.8 percent fall in December. The survey showed that prices were stable-to-better for nine of the 17 commodities monitored in January, with eight declining.
“Global commodity prices have started the year on the back foot, driven by falls in oil and industrial metals. Soft commodity price movements and prices in New Zealand’s specific export basket have been more mixed, however, varying with the fundamentals of each sector.” ANZ rural economist Con Williams said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia’s commodity price index is at a decade low

Posted on 02 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prices for Australia’s key commodity exports continued to tumble in January. The latest commodity price index from the Reserve Bank of Australia fell by 2.9% in special drawing rights terms (SDR), largely in response to weakness in iron ore and oil prices.
The decline, following a 3.85% fall in December, left the index down 25.8% from 12 months earlier. From its all time peak of 138.2, struck in July 2011, the index has now fallen by 56% in SDR terms. It now sits at the lowest level seen since October 2005………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity Returns Fall to Lowest Since at Least 1991 on Oil Rout

Posted on 13 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A gauge of returns on raw materials tumbled to the lowest since at least 1991, extending the agony that producers of energy, industrial metals and agricultural commodities faced in 2015. The Bloomberg Commodity Index, a measure of returns from 22 raw materials, fell as much as 1.5 percent to 74.02 on Tuesday.
A roundup of the bearish numbers: Crude oil in New York dipped below $30 a barrel, copper fell to less than $2 a pound and natural gas as low as $2.24 per million British thermal units. The expansion of the global economy has faltered, supplies of everything from oil to copper to grains are ample and a stronger dollar has eroded the appeal of raw materials as alternative investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

2015 was a bloodbath for commodities

Posted on 05 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities markets were hit hard last year. A note from S&P Dow Jones Indicies global head of commodities Jodie Gunzberg observed that “2015 will go down in history as one of the worst years ever for commodities.”
The S&P GSCI, a major commodities index, lost 32.9% in 2015, according to the note. Here are some highlights from Gunzberg: 2015 ended the S&P GSCI’s first 3-year consecutive loss in its history, losing a total of 55.6% during this time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tumbling commodities prices shake index

Posted on 21 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commodity rout is approaching an ugly new milestone, with losses across more members of a leading benchmark than in any year since the financial crisis. All but one of the 22 futures contracts in the Bloomberg Commodity Index are now lower in the year to date, with negative returns ranging from minus 6 per cent for sugar to a staggering 50 per cent plunge for natural gas. The last year so many constituents fell was 2008.
Down 26 per cent in the year to last Friday, the index is headed for the worst of five straight years of declines. The breadth of the washout across a varied basket of commodities highlights how pain has spread for producers from grain farmers to commodity exporting nations such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity index falls to lowest since June 1999

Posted on 08 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity prices are trading at their lowest levels since June 1999, according to a 22-member index compiled by Bloomberg. The Bloomberg Commodity Index, which tracks everything from lean hog and coffee futures to natural gas, fell 2.1 per cent on Monday to 79.97, breaching the 80 level for the first time in more than 16 years.
The 2.1 per cent fall is also the biggest daily decline for the index since September 1. Commodity prices are weakening across the board as the US dollar - the reserve currency for purchasing most commodities - continues to rise, while demand from China wanes and output among major commodity producers fails to slow down………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nikkei Commodity Indexes paint gloomy picture

Posted on 03 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Nikkei Commodity Indexes in November saw their biggest year-on-year declines since the autumn of 2009, when the global economy was still suffering from the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers a year earlier. The sharp downturn is casting a dark shadow over the global economy.
The Nikkei provides two commodity indexes. One tracks wholesale prices of 42 major materials — including crude oil, metals and foodstuffs — sensitive to economic trends; the other follows 17. Monitoring year-on-year changes in the readings allows for better global economic forecasts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Africa’s commodities slump is a gold mine for investors

Posted on 22 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The recent downturn in Africa’s commodities markets might seem to signal dark times for the continent’s emerging economies. The slump in global oil prices prompted Angola’s government to end fuel subsidies; weak copper rates dramatically reduced the value of Zambia’s currency; and J.P. Morgan delisted the Nigerian naira from the Emerging Markets Bond Index.
But for long-term investors in Africa, these setbacks are blessings in disguise. They exposed the fault lines in sub-Saharan Africa’s growth narrative, but they also emphasized salient new opportunities at both the public and private investment levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity index investing debate reignites

Posted on 21 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As investments go, commodities have proven such a dog they almost seem not worth arguing about. Once-popular theories — that central bank money printing would inflate hard assets, or that China’s appetite for commodities was bottomless — have dissipated like natural gas from a poorly sealed well.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index, a basket of 22 futures contracts, is scraping the lowest levels in more than a decade. The benchmark chalked up a total return of minus 42 per cent over the past decade, even as the world burnt a tenth more oil and digested two-fifths more corn………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Economic Data Suggesting Commodities Are Worthwhile Investment

Posted on 15 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM), which tracks 22 different commodities, is trading at the lowest levels since 2002 (below). The relationship between the US dollar and commodities is generally negatively correlated; with a strong US dollar, commodities have fallen.
This weakness in commodities, however, indicates that the global economy remains fragile with growth either slowing or not present at all in many countries. For investors, this weakness presents an opportunity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities face a severe price downturn, recovery not anytime soon

Posted on 25 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The metal index may have corrected 50% in the past one year and metal stocks may appear good value-buys, but given the structural negatives of a slowing China and a strong dollar, it may not be too long before the long-term bearish trend reasserts itself.
According to a recent Barclays report, this is a much more severe commodity price downturn than any the market has experienced in recent history. The Chinese demand across metal commodities is likely to drop to 2-3% from double digits for the next 5 years and China consumes 40-50% of most of these commodities produced globally. The Bloomberg commodity index is back at 2002 levels, eroding almost all the gains of the commodity super cycle………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity indexing embraces new methods

Posted on 20 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It was 2012, and energy executives and policy specialists were excited by the promise of shale gas. From Texas to Pennsylvania, a bonanza was under way. But inside the downtown Manhattan offices of S&P Dow Jones Indices, record US gas production was causing a problem. Oversupply was filling storage caverns, reducing returns from futures contracts for the product, disrupting an important benchmark used by investors.
The total return version of the S&P GSCI gas index had collapsed to a value of 0.58 from 100 when it launched. “The index value had declined to such a low level that it became prohibitive for people to price products on it,” recalls Michael McGlone, a former S&P senior director of commodity indexing. “It’s difficult to track an index that’s priced at less than one.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Worst-Hit Commodity Investments? Not Commodities

Posted on 07 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What is falling harder than commodity prices? Some exchange-traded funds that seek to track the companies that dig and drill for raw materials and fuel. It is no small feat to overshadow recent declines in industrial materials such as oil and metals. The Bloomberg Commodity Index, which tracks the prices of 22 raw materials, this week hit a 13-year low and is down 13% this year.
For 2015, copper prices have slumped 17%, oil prices have dropped 16% and gold prices have fallen 8%. Exchange-traded funds that track these commodities are down by a similar percentage. But some exchange-traded funds that invest in and aim to track the share prices of commodity-producing companies are doing much worse………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities market bearish like it’s 2008 all over again

Posted on 06 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Attention commodities investors: Welcome back to 2008! The meltdown has pushed as many commodities into bear markets as there were in the month after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which spurred the worst financial crisis seven years ago since the Great Depression.
Eighteen of the 22 components in the Bloomberg Commodity Index have dropped at least 20 per cent from recent closing highs, meeting the common definition of a bear market. That’s the same number as at the end of October 2008, when deepening financial turmoil sent global markets into a swoon………………………………………..Full Article: Source

July slaughter sends commodities to 13-year low

Posted on 30 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The downward slide in commodity prices is accelerating, surpassing the low reached during the financial crisis in 2008 and reaching a 13-year low. “This is one of the worst months in history for commodities,” said Jodie Gunzberg, global head of commodities at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The S&P GSCI index, a measure of a basket of 24 commodities, lost 14 percent of its value this month, with nearly every single component trading in negative territory. Indeed, the magnitude of the losses is shaping up to be the seventh worst in 45 years, data from S&P Dow Jones Indices show………………………………………..Full Article: Source

All commodity price indices to decline in 2015 – World Bank

Posted on 23 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A new World Bank report forecasts that all main commodity price indices will decline in 2015, owing to “abundant supplies and, in the case of industrial commodities, weak demand”. The July Commodity Markets Outlook is particularly pessimistic on the outlook for metals prices, which are now projected to decline 17%, instead of the 12% forecast in April; a result of capacity increases and slowing Chinese demand.
The largest decline is expected for iron-ore, where a 46% slump is anticipated, owing to new low-cost mining capacity coming online, mainly in Australia. BHP Billiton reported a 13% increase in iron-ore production to a record 254-million tons for the year to June 30, while South Africa’s leading iron-ore producer Kumba Iron Ore has indicted that it is targeting a break-even cash iron-ore price of $45/t, with prices having fallen to around $50/t………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Baltic Exchange ship futures platform examines move into commodities

Posted on 30 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

London’s Baltic Exchange is studying a potential foray into commodities and is open to proposals on tie-ups as other exchanges attempt to boost volumes, its chief executive said. Baltex, the Baltic’s digital shipping platform, was launched in 2011 as the first central electronic marketplace for freight forward agreements (FFAs), which allow investors to take positions on freight rates at a point in the future.
Since the beginning of this year, the previously loss making platform, has reached break even levels after Baltex became a venue for presenting block futures at the start of December………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indexology: Drivers of Technology ETFs

Posted on 26 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While S&P Capital IQ consensus forecasts for second quarter 2015 EPS has declined sharply since the beginning of 2015, we think that the information technology sector should be one of the bright spots. Meanwhile, the sector is trading at a discounted P/E multiple. We believe investors can gain exposure to a number of favorable trends in the broader sector through diversified technology focused ETFs.
Earnings forecasts have been falling for all S&P 500 index sectors. On January 2, analysts expected second quarter 2015 S&P 500 earnings would increase 4.2% from the prior year. However, driven in part by weakness in the energy and consumer staples sectors, the S&P 500 forecast is now for a 4.2% decrease as of June 23………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indexes Open China to Millions More

Posted on 08 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global investors are soon going to get a taste of stock trading, China-style. With the major stock-index providers adding or likely adding stocks that trade on China’s domestic markets, millions of foreign investors will own a piece of a market that has some of the highest valuations and volatility in the world.
It is also a market heavily guided by the Chinese government and one that has few protections for investors. The market’s recent performance has been driven by small, fast-trading investors, many with newly opened brokerage accounts, using borrowed cash to juice their returns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities bulls boosted by oil recovery

Posted on 11 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities from copper to iron ore have rebounded, helped by a rising oil price and a weaker US dollar, raising the possibility of investors taking a more positive view on a sector that has suffered years of negative returns. After a poor end to 2014, sentiment has started to improve, helped by a recovery in energy.
The Bloomberg Commodity index, which tracks 22 exchange traded commodities but is weighted towards oil, briefly turned positive for the year on Wednesday as crude approached $60 in the US and $70 in the rest of the world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

RBA expects commodity export prices to stay high

Posted on 11 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The outlook for Australia’s commodity exports has been further downgraded by the Reserve Bank but, like Treasury, it still believes prices will remain permanently higher than ever before, even at the peak of the last big boom 40 years ago.
Downgrades in the terms of trade (the ratio of export prices to import prices) will be one of the main sources of revenue writedown in tomorrow’s federal budget, despite Treasury endeavouring to make the estimates included in both last year’s budget and the mid-year budget update published last December more conservative than the market consensus………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Scotiabank’s Commodity Price Index Tumbles in March, but Will Strengthen in April

Posted on 30 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After rallying in February, Scotiabank’s Commodity Price Index dropped by 3.7% in March, as oil prices retreated once again. The All Items Index is at its lowest level since January 2007 and is 32.8% below a year earlier.
“The good news is a spring rally has emerged in April, with price gains for oil and base metals,” said Patricia Mohr, Vice President of Economics and Commodity Market Specialist at Scotiabank. “West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices have rallied back over US$57 in late April, as U.S. Department of Energy data indicates that U.S. shale oil production levelled out at about 5.618 million barrels per day (mb/d) in April and may edge down to 5.561 mb/d in May………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Baltic sea freight index down on weak vessel rates

Posted on 30 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Wednesday on lower vessel rates. The overall index, which factors in average daily earnings of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels, fell six points to 595 points.
The capesize index was up seven points at 558 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $81 to $4,515………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds achieve outstanding performance as most indices are in positive territory

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds achieved an outstanding performance during last week and were up 1.3%. More than 75% of the funds as well as most hedge funds indices are in positive territory, according to Lyxor Asset Management’s Weekly Briefing. The report said that hedge funds have continued to deliver solid returns in 2015 with the Lyxor HFI up 3.4% year-to-date. The first quarter of 2015 is on track to be the best quarter for hedge funds since Q2-2007 when the Lyxor HFI was up 3.7%.
“CTAs and event driven managers outperformed, both last week and year to date, as a result of the peculiar market environment which continues to see equities and bonds delivering positive returns. Financial markets find themselves in a sweet spot, where economic recovery is supporting consumer confidence but not at such a point that would lead central banks to tighten their monetary policy,” said Philippe Ferreira, Lyxor AM’s head of research, managed account platform………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Taiwan’s commodity price bulletin board to go online soon

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As part of efforts to promote the transparency of data on commodity prices, Taiwan’s Executive Yuan or Cabinet is establishing a commodity price bulletin board that will be put online by the end of the month, Vice Premier Chang San-cheng said Monday.
The planned “Commodity Price Bulletin Platform” will offer viewers information on prices of 60 kinds of vital products and will also have a special page where people can express their opinions and proposals, increasing the opportunities for citizen participation, Chang said during a meeting of the Executive Yuan’s price stabilization panel………………………………………..Full Article: Source

LBMA Gold Price successfully launched

Posted on 23 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The LBMA Gold Price has replaced the historic London Gold Fix. The first LBMA Gold Price settled at $1,171.75. ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) administers the “LBMA Gold Price”. They provide the auction platform, methodology as well as overall independent administration and governance for the LBMA Gold Price. The LBMA holds the intellectual property rights.
The London Gold Fix pricing mechanism has been replaced by a new electronic LBMA price-discovery process from Friday, 20th March 2015. The price continues to be set twice daily (at 10:30 and 15:00 London GMT). The new LBMA Gold Price is operated and administered by an independent third party provider, ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA), who were chosen following consultation with market participants………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Europe’s quantitative easing pushes hedge funds up 2.25% in February

Posted on 19 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Central Bank’s extension of aid to Greece and its new EUR 1.1tln stimulus package rallied European equity markets, that helped pushed hedge funds to gain 2.2% last month, said data provider BarclayHedge. It added that the quantitative easing also calmed down deflation fears on rising prices for oil and other commodities.
The Barclay Hedge Fund Index was up 2.14% year-to-date. “Risk factors were largely out of the limelight in February,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge. All but one of Barclay’s 18 hedge fund indices had gains in February. The Healthcare & Biotechnology Index jumped 4.49%, equity long bias was up 4.02%, the Event Driven Index gained 3.57%, Pacific Rim Equities rose 2.81%, Distressed Securities added 2.18%, and European equities were up 2.09%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

5 Commodities Leading The Price Plunge

Posted on 10 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Bloomberg Commodity Index, which tracks the price of 22 different commodity investments, recently traded at its lowest level since 2002. Stocks of commodity-exposed companies have suffered over the past year, but investors with direct stakes in the commodities themselves have been hit hardest.
Here’s a look at five commodities that have lined the downward-spiral path over the past year. 1. Silver - Silver prices have plummeted as investors anticipate money flowing out of precious metals when the Federal Reserve begins raising interest rates. The iShares Silver Trust (ETF) SLV, -0.59% is down nearly 25 percent in the past year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Stronger panamaxes drive up Baltic sea freight index

Posted on 06 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, made minor gains on Thursday on higher rates for the panamax and smaller vessel segments. The overall index, which factors in average daily earnings of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessels, rose two points, or 0.36 percent, to 561 points.
The panamax index was up seven points, or 1.22 percent, at 583 points. Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, were up $54 at $4,669………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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