• Multiyear low prices attract bargain hunters to industrial metals ETPs.
• Outflows from physically backed gold ETPs continue for the 11th consecutive week.
• Physically backed platinum ETPs (PHPT) drew inflows of US$4.3mn while palladium ETPs saw outflows of US$7.4mn.
• ETFS Agriculture (AIGA) received US$14.6mn of inflows last week.
The jobs data in the US last week provided vital ammunition for the Federal Reserve to pull the trigger on interest rate increases later this year, adding to US dollar strength, which weighed on commodity prices. Interestingly gold remained resilient, seeing its price rise in US dollar terms for a second straight week, despite outflows from gold ETPs. The key to the commodity complex’s fortunes is China’s growth path and the market is on the lookout for further stimulus in the country.
Inflows into long WTI crude and Brent oil ETPs continued for the 5th straight week. WTI crude oil touched US$43.94 and Brent reached US$48.55, marking their lowest levels since 20th March and 29th January respectively this year. We believe that these low prices will provide high-cost producers the incentive to cut production, and will pave the way for price increases later in 2015. Bargain hunters have continued to accumulate positions at these depressed price levels, with long oil ETPs receiving US$88.6mn of inflows last week, the highest since March 2015.
Multiyear low prices attract bargain hunters to industrial metals ETPs. ETFS Aluminum (ALUM) and ETFS Copper ETPs (COPA) recorded US$15.5mn and US$10.7mn, their highest inflows in 12 and 18 weeks, respectively. A weaker-than-expected Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) reading of 50 and an unexpected decline in German industrial production (of -1.6%) pushed copper and aluminum prices to 6 year lows this week. However, China announced plans raise 1 trillion yuan in bonds to fund infrastructure projects which will likely increase the demand for industrial metals. Money manager net short positions in copper reported by the LME and Shanghai Futures Exchange have more than trebled over the past week and ETP investors are betting on a short-selling rally, should any supply side outages eventuate from weather related Chilean mine disruptions.
Outflows from physically backed gold ETPs continue for the 11th consecutive week. After the second consecutive week of price gains, outflows from physical gold ETPs slowed to US$41.1mn, the lowest in five weeks. The probability of a Fed rate hike in September rose to 56% following the sturdy US jobs data release. Gold however shrugged off the news and rose. Slowing outflows and steadying prices could mark the end of the gold rout, with Q3 a seasonally robust period for gold historically.
Physically backed platinum ETPs (PHPT) drew inflows of US$4.3mn while palladium ETPs saw outflows of US$7.4mn. BMW AG cut production last week amid weak auto demand in China. Approximately 70% of palladium demand comes from the autocatalyst market. Platinum has more diverse sources of demand, which helps explain why investors appear more optimistic about its outlook.
ETFS Agriculture (AIGA) received US$14.6mn of inflows last week. When combined with the previous week’s US$19.8mn of inflows, we saw the highest fortnightly inflows in to the agricultural basket since October 2014. With a strengthening El Niño potentially disrupting global crop production this year, we are could see sharp gains in agricultural prices as supply falls short of expectations.
Key events to watch this week. Industrial production data in the US, China and Japan will provide a gauge for industrial metal demand, while US retail sales and weekly jobs figures will help provide clarity on the US dollar’s strength.
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This communication has been provided by ETF Securities (UK) Limited (”ETFS UK”) which is authorised and regulated by the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority.