ETFS Multi-Asset Weekly Soft Growth Patch and US Rate Rise Concerns Hit Cyclical Assets A Temporary Set-Back to Global Recovery
- Corn prices jumped 6.8% on the back of strong US export sales.
- China A-Shares surge following the national ”golden week” holiday.
- Buy USD dips.
Despite receiving a temporary lift from dovish Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes, most global developed market equity benchmarks declined last week. Poor German economic data added to the woes in Europe weighing heavily on investor sentiment. The US dollar depreciated following the release of the ‘dovish’ Fed minutes and helped sustain modest gains in gold and other commodity sectors. The key exception in the commodity space was energy, where ample supple remains a drag on performance. After last month’s almost universally disappointing economic data releases from China, this week’s release of Chinese loan growth, inflation, and reserve growth will be closely watched.
Corn prices jumped 6.8% on the back of strong US export sales. Export sales were given a boost by extremely low prices. A bumper crop expected this year has driven the price of corn to the lowest since 2010. However, the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand report released late on Friday, capped gains as production forecasts were raised once again. Coffee continued to rise (up 6.2%) on expectations of a poor Brazilian crop next year. Meanwhile, the current coffee harvest is still underway in Brazil, and erratic weather this year has likely weakened coffee bushes for next year’s crop.
Elsewhere, crude oil prices slid last week amid ample supply. WTI fell 5.7% while Brent lost 3.9%. OPEC’s report released on Friday showed the group’s crude oil production had risen in September to average 30.47 mb/d, up 0.40 mb/d from the previous month. Production from Libya, Iraq, Angola and Nigeria increased, while crude oil output in Saudi Arabia fell.
China A-Shares surge following the national “golden week” holiday. Last Tuesday was the first trading day on the Chinese stock exchanges after a week of national holiday in the country. The domestic market reopened in a strong note on Tuesday with the MSCI China A Index up 1.3% on that day. The index is now trading at around 12% above its 200dma and 4.3% above its 50dma, reflecting investors’ bullish sentiment over the Chinese economy as growth elsewhere seems gloomy. Last week’s dovish Fed minutes failed to support global equities, with many global equity benchmarks forced to their lowest levels this year, as investor sentiment is being battered by disappointing growth numbers, particularly from the Eurozone. Meanwhile, fears over the global growth outlook have boosted the EURO STOXX 50® Investable Volatility Index, up 1% last week and 15% over the past 3 weeks.
Buy USD dips. The USD posted a weekly decline for the first time since July last week, despite a late recovery. Our long held view of USD strength remains and any temporary weakness we view as a buying opportunity. US Federal Reserve voting member Dudley indicated that mid-2015 is ‘about right’ for the first rate hike. As we have noted previously, excess liquidity in the system – a result of the Fed balance sheet expansion – does not preclude rate hikes. Signalling policy tightening via small gradual rate increases will go a long way to keeping price expectations well anchored. Rate increases longside a significant pool of liquidity to aid lending, will support growth at the same time and enhance the credibility of the US Fed. Indeed, the upward momentum of the USD is being fuelled by futures market positioning and the recent equity weakness is contributing to the ‘flight to quality’ bid for the USD.
This communication has been issued and approved for the purpose of section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 by ETF Securities (UK) Limited (”ETFS UK”) which is authorised and regulated by the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (”FCA”).