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Commodities Briefing - Category | Investment more

3 Safe Investments in Commodities

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity prices can be very volatile and change without notice. In the past year alone the key commodities of oil, natural gas, iron ore, silver, and gold have all dropped by double-digits at some point in the year. Looking out even farther all of these commodities are down by at least a third from the peak price over the past decade.
Huge price drops like these can sink commodity stocks, especially those already weighted down by a lot of debt. However, despite this downward volatility commodity prices can go higher as well, minting a fortune for investors. The key is to be invested in a company that can make it through the low point of the cycle to cash in when prices rebound. Here are three safe commodity investments that are very likely to be there when a future uptick in commodity prices finally arrives………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investments in gold could be the next best bet

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An increasing number of professional money managers think gold will be where the retail punters go to next and it’s true gold has been trading more like a currency than a commodity recently. If the dollar is no longer king, then gold looks like a worthy successor.
For a start, gold is at the bottom of a correction of more than three years and attractively priced for an upward move. It topped out at $1,923 in October 2011 and seems to have bottomed out around $1,140 an ounce. Gold has actually already held up very well with the rise of the US dollar and came second only to the dollar last year in performance against all other currencies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold or Miners: Which Investment Shines Brighter?

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold mining stocks have been in the headlines lately as their share prices have moved significantly higher. Between early March and mid-May the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) increased over 17%. The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), which tracks smaller-capitalization miners, ticked up over 25% in the same period. Both funds’ result dwarfed the underlying metal’s return of roughly 6.4% during that time.
Historically, advisors and fund investors have used gold miners as one of the few ways to get exposure to the precious metal, says John Gabriel, ETF strategist with Chicago-based Morningstar. That’s changed over the past 10 years or so with the arrival of physical-gold ETFs, which provide direct exposure to the commodity’s price movement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

AfDB invests N14 billion in African agriculture

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The African Development Bank, AfDB, said it has invested N14.78 billion (N2.91 trillion) in the agriculture sector of its Regional Member Countries (RMC) in 46 years to grow their economy. Chiji Ojukwu, the Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department of the bank, stated this in a statement published on the bank’s official website.
In the statement, retrieved by the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Lagos, the director said that between 1968 and 2014, the bank group approved 876 operations. These operations had commitments valued at approximately $14.78 billion that provide support to agriculture and rural development………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities, precious metals funds outflows biggest since 2013 -Lipper

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors in U.S.-based funds pulled $597 million out of funds that specialize in commodities and precious metals in the week ended May 20, data from Thomson Reuters’ Lipper service showed on Thursday. The outflows were the biggest since December 2013. Stock funds posted $1.7 billion in outflows over the latest week after attracting $3.7 billion in inflows the prior week.
U.S.-based non-domestic-focused stock funds attracted $3.3 billion of inflows, their 15th straight week of net new cash. “I’m speculating here but possibly stronger economic news caused investors to pull money out of commodities and into stocks,” said Patrick Keon, research analyst at Lipper………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold settles lower as market mulls timing of U.S. rate hike

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold futures settled lower Thursday as investors parsed the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s April meeting released a day earlier, digging for further clues of the timing of an interest-rate hike.
At least for now, it seems that the possibility of a June rate hike has been deeply diminished. Still, the sense that the first hike in a decade may come sometime this year is giving gold investors reason to pause. Higher rates diminish the appeal of gold, which doesn’t offer interest………………………………………..Full Article: Source

5 Tips For Trading ETFs

Posted on 21 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Some investors gloss over the “ET” in ETF, failing to understand or appreciate what these two letters stand for and the implications of investing in a fund that trades like a stock. The exchange-traded nature of these funds is increasingly taken for granted as many of the largest ETFs trade at tight spreads in very narrow bands around their net asset values through most market conditions.
But not all ETFs are created equal from a liquidity perspective, and investors shouldn’t take ETFs’ liquidity for granted. Also, the market mechanisms that underpin the ETF ecosystem have experienced hiccups of varying magnitude, ranging from the “flash crash” to more recent episodes of lesser scope and impact………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese commodity hedge funds cultivate ties with Western investors

Posted on 21 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Chinese hedge funds, blamed for several routs in the metal markets in the past 18 months, are developing relations with Western investors as they stretch out beyond their home turf, an executive at London Metal Exchange broker Sucden said.
Chinese metals funds, including Shanghai Chaos Investment Co, were believed to be behind an 8 per cent plunge in the copper price over three days in March 2014 and were active as the metal crashed to a six-year low this year. They have become a dominant force in metals, especially during the Asian day, as Western hedge funds, asset managers and banks have scaled back or quit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds ‘may cover more shorts in wheat, but not sugar’

Posted on 19 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors noted scope for further short-covering in wheat derivatives, after hedge funds eased back from a record bearish position, but raised doubts over the appetite for extending a large positive shift in raw sugar.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, cut by more than 37,000 contracts its net short position in futures and options in the main 13 US-traded agricultural commodities in the week to last Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulator………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil Investors Take a Closer Look at Production

Posted on 18 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A spotlight has landed on a previously overlooked metric as oil traders drill deeper for clues on price movement. A spotlight has landed on a previously overlooked metric as oil traders drill deeper for clues on price movement.
More often, investors are looking to weekly U.S. oil-production data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration for signs the global glut of crude that sunk prices last year is starting to shrink. That data point, however, has some significant, well-known limitations, and some analysts say traders are giving too much credence to it………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New ETFs Aim to Better Track Commodity Prices

Posted on 18 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investing with commodity exchange-traded funds has always been a bit like eating pancakes with Log Cabin syrup: Close enough for most people, but still a long way from the real thing. ETFs can’t own real-life barrels of oil, for instance, so instead they rely on oil futures, forward-looking derivatives. This recipe comes at a high cost, rendering most of these ETFs nearly useless for long-term investors.
An industry newcomer is about to debut a new ETF structure that aims to provide investors something purer—not a barrel of oil itself, but an ETF that tracks the oft-quoted “spot” price of one. If it works, ETF investors could have a better mechanism for tracking commodities prices. But there are quirks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors Double Down on Spring Turnaround

Posted on 14 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When the dollar’s rally stalled in March, some investors began buying beaten-down assets in a shift many expected to be short-lived. It has been two months, and the strategy remains a winner. Now, many of those traders are increasing their bets, providing an unexpectedly sharp lift for the euro, oil and other investments that were trampled when the U.S. currency surged.
Many traders say the turnabout has been driven in part by signs that a wave of unprecedented economic stimulus in Europe is starting to bear fruit, boosting lending and manufacturing across the region. China, the world’s largest commodity buyer, has launched its own series of programs aimed at steadying its economy…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Gartman: Forget OPEC, here’s why I’m getting long oil

Posted on 13 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC’s latest warning that crude could stay below $100 a barrel for the next decade wasn’t enough to keep Dennis Gartman on the sidelines in the oil market. To the contrary, the founder of “The Gartman Letter” said that he’s now bullish on crude oil for the first time “in a very, very long while.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a draft of its latest strategy report that it doesn’t expect crude to trade consistently above $100 per barrel in the next decade, according to the Wall Street Journal. The draft reportedly forecasted crude trading at around $76 per barrel in 2025, and also modeled scenarios where crude would trade below $40 per barrel in 2025………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc to lead improvement in base metals prices

Posted on 12 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After indications of consolidations during the previous month, base metals prices improved during the previous month. Lead prices outperformed others with a gain of 17.5% to US$2125/ tn followed by zinc, which rose by 13.5% to US$2356/ tn.
Aluminium rose 6.7% to US$1910/ tn and copper prices gained by 3.2% to US$6245/ tn Sharp rise in lead prices and zinc prices along with fall in USD index can also be attributed to the sharp fall the inventory levels. Lead inventory fell by 25%, while zinc inventory fell by 8% and aluminium inventory fell 3%. Copper inventory rose by 2% MoM……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodities as a safe haven?

Posted on 08 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

We’ve been seeing some shaky equity markets lately. The stock markets can be great to trade when there’s a good trend going on, but while we are still in a global equity bull market, there may be some shaky periods ahead. Perhaps there are better opportunities in other asset classes.
The key advantage of commodity markets is that they’re not correlated to the financial markets. Whether the stock markets are heading up or down has very little impact on the price of rice. At the moment, there are some very interesting trends going on in the commodities space which are completely unrelated to what’s going on in stocks and bonds at the moment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold an ‘unreliable’ hedge against geopolitical risk – SocGen

Posted on 08 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold is not reliable as a hedge against geopolitical risks, Société Générale said on Thursday. The performance of the yellow metal in periods of regional military conflicts is mixed and it has not performed well consistently, the bank said in a note on Thursday.
One of the most recent examples is the annexation of Crimea by the Russian military during which gold initially rallied towards $1,400. “[But] the gold rally didn’t last very long and it wasn’t long before gold was trading at levels below when armed men seized Crimea’s parliament,” SocGen said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold At Buy Point: RBC

Posted on 08 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Analysts have noted that the gold market has suffered because of lackluster investment demand, as investors shift away from precious metals and into higher yielding assets like equities. However, one analyst at RBC Wealth Management sees some higher short-term risk to equity markets, which could be bullish for gold and silver.
Bob Dickey, technical analyst at RBC, said in his Market Maps report, published Tuesday that the S&P 500 is six years into what could be a 27-year secular bull market, if historical patterns prove correct. “The years ahead could represent a good time to own stocks, in general, much like it was in the 1975–2000 period,” he said in the report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Silver investors corner the market, not JP Morgan

Posted on 06 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On Friday GoldCore posted an article asking whether JP Morgan was cornering the silver bullion market, noting their Comex warehouse stocks of 55 million ounces and claims by Ted Butler that they “may be holding as much as 350 million ounces of physical silver.” My short answer: I don’t think so.
The clear import from the article is that because the warehouse has JP Morgan’s name out front that all the silver insider is theirs. However, JP Morgan has large market share of global precious metal market activity with a significant number of industry participants using JP Morgan to buy and sell physical and futures, and for storage services. It is therefore highly unlikely that none or little of the silver in JP Morgan’s warehouse is held on a custodial basis for clients………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why they prefer commodities to equities

Posted on 04 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bengaluru-based Suby Mathews quit his high-profile banking job four years ago to pursue trading full time. Mathews too started off with equities and switched to commodities five years ago. Why commodities? The longer trading window, though it makes for more volatility, provides an opportunity to make more money. “The market is open till late in the night, which gives numerous short-term trading opportunities, albeit with a bit more risk,” he explains.
So, what are his favourites? He prefers to trade energy — crude oil and natural gas — and occasionally trades in gold too. Does he limit himself to just commodities? He trades in Nifty futures and options and occasionally in currency futures………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Should I Have Held Commodities In My Portfolio?

Posted on 28 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity funds manifest inferior risk-adjusted return, relative to other asset classes. Absence of conclusive superior risk-adjusted returns for portfolios holding commodity funds. Commodity performance as an investment varies by the particular fund (proxy) used. Commodities are a relatively new asset class. (They are new at least with respect to domestic equities.)
That is, it was only within the last dozen years that a lay investor could get their hands on a commodities mutual fund. And as with many new investments, the fledgling commodities fund history has been relatively volatile; the previous bull run has turned bear………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Where should investors look when Oil recovers?

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When oil prices recover-and plenty of analysts think the climb back up will start soon-Canada’s western frontier of Saskatchewan and neighboring Alberta will ’still have the edge’, according to a report from TD Economics. Depressed oil prices may have skewed the view from Canada’s oil-producing west, but this will be one of the better places to bet on the oil rebound.
Saskatchewan remains the last highly accessible onshore North American oil frontier and it is home to part of the prolific Williston Basin. And as the industry gears up for the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference(WBPC) on 28 April, the message is clear: Saskatchewan is still alive and kicking…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold down as investor indifference to bad news takes hold

Posted on 23 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold’s inability to break out of its recent $20 range could indicate that the market has become numb to bubbling geopolitical risk. Gold for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was last down $4.20 at $1,198.90 per ounce. Trade has ranged from $1,197.70 to $1,204.40.
“History has shown how well gold can perform during times of elevated uncertainty – as it happens, the height of the Eurozone crisis a few years ago coincided with gold rallying to record highs,” UBS analyst Edel Tully said. “It appears that the market has, in a sense, become desensitised to bad news. Eurozone uncertainty is acting more as a cushion for gold right now, rather than an upside catalyst as it had in the past, and prices are clinging to the $1,200 mark,” she added. …………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors See Opportunities in Commodities

Posted on 21 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities from crude oil to copper to sugar are luring investors, fueled by signs of a healing global economy and a pause in the dollar’s rally. Investors are tiptoeing back into commodities from crude oil to copper to sugar, fueled by signs the global economy is healing and a pause in the U.S. dollar’s rally.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index, which tracks the prices of 24 commodities, has risen more than 12% over the past month and around midday stands near its highest level since December. Fueling those gains are higher prices for oil, which have risen by nearly a third from their lows, as well as rallies in copper, sugar, gold and other raw materials…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Researchers Warn of Global Oil Price Crisis as Investors Shy Away

Posted on 20 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The drop oil prices has changed the longstanding laws of the energy market and made investors deeply insecure about financing expensive projects in the future. The risk of a global oil crisis has increased and investors are becoming more and more cautious about financing expensive projects, according to a study by the Hamburg Research Office Energycomment, presented by the German magazine “Der Spiegel”.
The researchers stated that low oil prices resulted in a drastic cut of investments in long-term energy projects, including the development of the Arctic and production of synthetic and biological fuels. Oil prices have almost halved since the summer of 2014, and currently lie below the level of 60 dollars per barrel. For the first time, the drop was caused not by an economic crisis, but tough competition in the global oil market, experts claim……………………………………Full Article: Source

Investors Who See ‘Froth’ in Market Go All In for Oil

Posted on 20 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Joseph Gladbach and his fellow bankers at Jefferies Group field three to five calls a day from investors eager to park their millions in energy stocks or bonds in the worst down cycle in 30 years. They’re no dummies, Gladbach says. One of the biggest mysteries of the oil market crash is why the money hasn’t dried up. The collapse in crude prices was supposed to devastate companies and spook investors after wiping more than $200 billion off the balance sheets of U.S. and Canadian producers. It didn’t.
As industry luminaries gather at the IHS CeraWeek Energy Conference in Houston this week to ponder the implications of $50-a-barrel crude, the money keeps piling into oil, with hedge funds, buyout firms and asset managers rushing to claim a spot at the table……………………………………Full Article: Source

Copper Bulls Backing Away as China Woes Trump Supply Concerns

Posted on 20 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors are backing away from copper after the biggest two-month rally since 2012. The problem is that demand is slowing in China, which accounts for about half of global copper use. Producers including Freeport-McMoRan Inc. say Chinese buying hasn’t picked up as it normally does at this time of year, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA are among banks predicting lower prices.
The metal is losing its appeal for money managers, who have reduced their net-long positions for two straight weeks, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. Analysts, traders and hedge funds surveyed by Bloomberg last week were split on the price outlook, assessing rising inventories and prospects for reduced China consumption against aging mines that will mean limited supply gains……………………………………Full Article: Source

Are Low-Risk High-Yield Investments Real?

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The low-risk, high-yield investment—it’s the Holy Grail of finance, or perhaps more aptly, the perpetual motion machine. One that rewards its holder out of proportion to the danger of holding it. But is there indeed such a thing as a vehicle that can combine the returns of a Lotto ticket with the safety of a Series I savings bond?
As a rule, the correlation between risk and reward in the market is almost perfectly positive. Common sense or a few seconds’ rumination should show you why that’s the case, but here’s an explanation anyway. The more people desire an investment because of its expected returns, the greater the demand, and thus the higher its price goes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Heartwood invests in commodities after two year hiatus

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Heartwood Investment Management has bought back into commodities after years of ignoring the sector. Its investment manager Jade Fu said he had not had any direct exposure to commodities, such as oil or gold, on his multi-asset portfolios for more than two years.
Weaker-than-expected demand, a surge of the supply of some commodities and a strong dollar have dragged down prices across the sector. Ms Fu said these fundamental factors were still present and meant the asset class “remains weak”. But she said: “We are beginning to see tentative signs of stabilisation across a number of sectors, particularly in energy, and we consider that now is the time to gain an entry point into the asset class.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

It’s Time To Buy Gold

Posted on 13 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite a rally this week, the broad market remains on edge and any downside in equity markets is likely to spur safe haven demand for gold. Treasury bond performance has mirrored that of gold recently, showing that after a period in the wilderness gold is once again used as a hedge against equity market volatility. The gold chart pattern is set up very bullishly, and should the pattern play out we will likely see a $50 move to the upside in the near term.
In last week’s article I noted that if we were to move higher than $1217 early in the week we would then have a bullish 5 wave move up from the lows, and as long as we did not exceed $1193 on the subsequent retrace, the chances were that a rally would ensue………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mark Mobius’ top conviction: Buy commodities

Posted on 09 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the price outlook for many commodities remains bleak, veteran investor Mark Mobius recommends positioning for a recovery in the beleaguered asset class. “Right now it’s commodities believe it or not, they are so far out of favor,” Mobius, executive chairman at Templeton Emerging Markets Group, told CNBC when asked what his top conviction call was.
“No one knows what’s going to happen next in terms of the military situation in the Middle East, so oil is something you’ve got to watch. I think there will be a recovery,” he added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Record Investment in ETFs

Posted on 09 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European ETF market has posted the best ever quarter in terms of net inflows in Q1 2015. According to preliminary calculations, investors directed €30.8 billion of net new money to European-domiciled ETFs during the first three months of 2015. This was by far the highest sum channelled into ETFs in a single quarter; greatly surpassing the previous high of €17 billion posted all the way back in Q4 2008.
In fact, by historical standards, this quarterly sum is more akin to the figures the European ETF market has usually posted on a full calendar year basis. Indeed, 2014, which I personally dubbed “a fantastic year for the ETF industry” saw net inflows of €43.5 billion for the entire year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

10 Commodities Investments to Rev Up Your Portfolio

Posted on 02 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

You may not have much of a taste for commodities right now, and who could blame you? At a time when Wall Street has seen healthy run-ups, many commodities stocks have taken a beating. But as equities experts put it, you can’t keep a good stock down, especially when it trades in an area where there’s a proven need or demand that’s bound to increase.
“The [Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity CRB Index] has been in a bear market since its peak in 2011, making commodities seem like a questionable investment,” says John O’Donnell, chief knowledge officer of Online Trading Academy, based in Irvine, California. “But just like it’s proven contrarian wisdom that the best time to buy is when there’s ‘blood in the street,’ courageous and patient investors now have the opportunity to buy when there’s gold in the street.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Investors exit commodities at record rate

Posted on 01 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors are bailing out of commodity funds at the fastest pace on record, and the exodus shows no signs of ending. US exchange-traded funds linked to broad baskets of raw materials saw a net outflow of $1.23bn over the first three months of the year, the most of any quarter since the securities were created in 2006, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Bank of America says ample supplies have unleashed price wars, and Goldman Sachs predicts a 20% drop for commodities already near a 13-year low.
Morgan Stanley and Société Générale also have cut forecasts for a whole range of items. Rising supplies created bear markets over the past year as drillers unlocked more oil and natural gas, copper mines expanded and farmers harvested record maize and soya bean crops. The strongest dollar in at least a decade encouraged countries with weaker currencies to export more………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors fall out of love with Aussie equities, commodities

Posted on 01 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australian equities and commodities are firmly out of favour with international investors who prefer exposure to Europe, technology and health care. Institutional investors are bearish on the outlook for the local market because stocks look expensive, along with the prospect of the Australian dollar plunging and concerns around Australia’s reliance on China as a source of demand, a survey of respondents at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference revealed.
In spite of this, Australian stocks have just posted the best first-quarter since 1991 with a return of 9 per cent sealed on Tuesday. Low interest rates and compelling yields on offer in equities have supported a wave of buying at odds with dour expectations for the domestic economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge Market Risks with Alternative Investments, ETFs

Posted on 01 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After the recent swing in the equities market, more anxious investors may consider alternative investments and exchange traded funds to help even out an investment portfolio.
Alternative investments provide exposure to assets with little or no correlation to traditional stocks and bonds, which can help offset a portfolio’s potential losses in volatile conditions. For those with a low risk tolerance, an alternative investment strategy could help protect one’s assets……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodity investors are bailing at the fastest pace on record

Posted on 31 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors are bailing out of commodity funds at the fastest pace on record, and the exodus shows no signs of ending. U.S. exchange-traded funds linked to broad baskets of raw materials saw a net outflow of $919 million over the first three months of the year, the most of any quarter since the securities were created in 2006, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Bank of America Corp. says ample supplies have unleashed price wars, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts a 20% drop for commodities already near a 13-year low. Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale SA also have cut forecasts for a whole range of items. Rising supplies created bear markets over the past year as drillers unlocked more oil and natural gas, copper mines expanded and farmers harvested record corn and soybean crops………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why This Commodities Bust Could Test Investor Patience

Posted on 31 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities sure have a way of touching all of the major asset classes. With that said, let’s take a look at one of the benchmark commodity indices, the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, to see where we stand and if the pain of the 34% decline since June 2014 is behind us. All of course, from a technical perspective.
Why the CRB Commodities Index? In short, following the CRB Index can give investors a sense of the broad spectrum of the commodities market as it is composed of Agricultural (41%), Energy (39%), Base/Industrial Metals (13%), and Precious Metals (7%) commodities. To begin with, let’s take a look at the long-term monthly chart to see if we have hit bottom or if we still have to leave the question “How low is low?” open………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World Gold Council Tells China to Increase Gold Reserves

Posted on 27 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China should increase its gold holdings to around 5 percent of its total foreign exchange reserves to help diversify currency risks, the World Gold Council (WGC) said. China currently holds about 1.6 percent of its foreign exchange reserves in gold, which is relatively low compared with developed countries and some developing countries, WGC China managing director Roland Wang said.
“The ideal amount should be at least 5 percent of its total forex reserves,” Wang told Reuters in an interview in Hong Kong. China last raised its gold holdings in April 2009, when reserves rose to 33,890,000 troy ounces (about 1,054 tonnes), from 19,290,000 troy ounces, according to central bank data. The holding was unchanged as of December 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Top gold experts share secrets for making money in any market

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pierre Lassonde, co-founder and chairman of Franco-Nevada Corp.: I think today’s gold market is reminiscent of the 2001–2004 era. Gold bottomed around August of 2001 at $250/ounce ($250/oz) when the gold stocks recorded their absolute lows. I became president of Newmont Gold Co. at that point, and we were selling for $18/share and our cash costs were $160/oz.
Over the next three years, gold went up to $450/oz, then $500/oz. Our stock price went up to $62/share because our cash costs stayed exactly the same. That allowed us to deliver real shareholder value. After that, producers’ costs have been going up atrociously every year, and companies have struggled to deliver anything to shareholders………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil ETF investors, not just OPEC, hold sway over crude market

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tumult in Libya, U.S. rig counts, production plans of the oil exporting cartel and a pact on nuclear relations with Iran can all affect crude supply and demand, but oil traders have kept an equally close watch on retail investors in recent weeks.
Those investors and hedge funds, betting on a reversal of oil’s long rout, poured billions of dollars into exchange traded products at the tail end of the slide last year, providing unexpected support that helped prices stabilize. Even as concerns about U.S. storage capacity triggered renewed slide over the past week investors have stuck with the view that a bottom might be in sight, pouring more money into financial products backed by oil futures………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is Fossil Fuel Divestment A Bad Idea?

Posted on 24 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The fossil fuel divestment movement has exploded in popularity over the last several years, thanks in parts to the massive efforts of groups like 350.org, the group behind Fossil Free, the organizers of Global Divestment Day. In addition, the sweeping divestment movement is particularly attractive to tertiary education institutions around the world, and each month closes with more universities and colleges around the world announcing their divestment from fossil fuel investments.
Beyond the education world, a number of cities are making independent announcements of their own intention to divest from fossil fuels — the most recent being the city of Oslo, capital of Norway, which announced at the beginning of March that it would divest $7 million worth of coal investments from its pension fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fall in energy prices to impact oil and gas investments

Posted on 12 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The rapid decline in energy prices is expected to have a large impact on investment in oil and gas projects worldwide. Since June 2014, the price of Brent crude oil price has collapsed due to a supply glut fuelled by a rise in US shale oil production, as well as weaker global demand, particularly in China and Europe.
Speaking during the Middle East Oil and Gas Show in Manama, Bahrain, Amin Nasser, Senior Vice President for Upstream Operations at Saudi Aramco, told local press: “Challenges during down cycles are more complicated today than before. At this moment the global industry is poised to potentially cancel about US$1 trillion in capital funding.” This figure includes delayed projects as well as those that could be cancelled outright………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Should you invest in commodities or shares?

Posted on 11 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With a burgeoning amount of products available to retail investors that provide direct exposure to commodity prices, we set out to investigate whether you would have been better off investing in instruments (like ETFs and ETNs) that provide direct exposure to commodity prices, or whether you would have fared better owning the underlying equity of resource/commodity companies.
But first a slight detour for the benefit of the uninitiated. In South Africa, investors have traditionally got exposure to commodities via shares of resource companies. This began to change with the development of the exchanged traded fund (ETF) industry in the early part of the last decade, which eventually led to the creation of the first commodity ETF………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds cut bullish commodity bets to 6-year low

Posted on 10 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Large scale speculators in gold futures added massively to short positions – bets that prices will fall – ahead of Friday’s jobs report in the US which sent gold prices tumbling. On Monday the gold price regained some of its footing, but is still trading at the lowest since November after retreating more than $140 an ounce from its 2015 high above $1,300 hit in January.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery – the most active contract – was last trading at $1,166.40 an ounce, up $2.10 or 0.2% from Friday’s close………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil, gas industry may cancel $1 trln projects on price fall -Aramco exec

Posted on 10 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The steep fall in energy prices will hit investment in oil and gas projects worldwide and the industry may cancel about $1 trillion of planned projects globally in the next couple of years, a senior Saudi Aramco executive said on Monday.
“Challenges during down cycles are more complicated today than before…At this moment the global industry is poised to potentially cancel about $1 trillion in capital funding,” Amin Nasser, senior vice president for upstream operations at the Saudi oil giant, told a conference in Bahrain………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Oil Prices Haven’t Hit Bottom Yet

Posted on 09 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors looking at crude oil technicals and thinking the commodity looks like a good value right now are like the people who saw a white dress when the infamous photo of a blue dress crossed their newsfeeds. In this case, investors’ misperception comes from reports of oil rig shutdowns and crude’s ability to remain above a key technical level, suggesting the commodity has bottomed.
Those are distractions from a real fundamental issue — there’s too much oil and too few places to affordably store it, said Tim Evans, Energy Futures Specialist at Citi Futures. “I’m trying to keep my clients from becoming complacent about rising inventories as if they don’t matter because price action suggests we should look away from physical surplus in the market,” Evans said. “There’s substantial downside risk, particularly at the front of the WTI crude oil curve.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Is Silver a Good Investment Right Now?

Posted on 04 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The prevailing silver price volatility and surging stock market has investors asking, ” Is silver a good investment right now?” Silver prices have ranged from $15.785 an ounce to $18.31 in 2015. This is the norm for silver. Last year it was as high as $21.965 and low as $15.315.
The current price of silver is around $16.20 an ounce. It’s up about 3.4% on the year, but has been up as high as 16.7%. It can be hard as an investor to stomach that kind of volatility. But even with all these violent price swings, the reasons that make silver a good investment still hold true. ………………………………………Full Article: Source

Platinum buyers seek to limit SA output risk

Posted on 04 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Additional platinum metal sourced from recycling is one of the major reasons why the platinum market remains weak and this source of metal is being actively promoted by customers as an alternative to primary supply from South Africa.
That’s according to Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO, Steve Phiri, who told financial media and analysts during a presentation of the company’s financial results for 2014 in Sandton today that “… this is a worrying development”. Phiri added: “Secondary platinum from recycling is being viewed as a substitute for primary supply from South Africa because we are no longer seen as a reliable and sustainable supplier of the metal for various reasons including labour issues and regulatory issues……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Investing in Alternative Mutual Funds and ETFs

Posted on 03 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Alternative investments are gaining popularity, especially those offered in a liquid format by mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) providers. Mutual fund companies can’t develop new alternative products fast enough to offer to financial advisors or directly to individual investors.
In the past alternatives were offered primarily in investment products like hedge funds with requirements that investors be accredited, meaning they meet minimum income and net worth conditions. In the wake of the turbulence in the financial markets during the 2008-2009 financial crisis they are increasingly being packaged in more liquid and accessible formats………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India Announces New Gold Schemes: What to Know

Posted on 02 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors who want to buy gold will soon have a new option. This was among a number of proposals announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget to reduce India’s import of gold as well as put to work the vast amount of gold deposits held in the country.
The Finance Minister said a Sovereign Gold Bond would be introduced as an alternative to purchasing physical gold. The bond or financial instrument will carry a fixed rate of interest and when investors sell the bond they will get the value of the gold………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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