ETF Securities Weekly Flows Analysis – Continued inflows for commodities as energy sector bucks the trend
- Gold price continues higher, with 2016 inflows near US$1.9bn, as policy uncertainty reigns.
- Palladium inflows hit six month highs on rising US car sales.
- Profit-taking continues for crude oil ETPs, led by WTI products.
Gold ETP inflows have experienced withdrawals in only two weeks in 2016, with inflows totalling US$1.9bn. Gold’s rally appears to be set to continue as the market reacts to softer economic data in the US. The downside surprise for US jobs will keep uncertainty surrounding US Fed policy elevated and will certainly support gold as a potential inflation overshoot in the US seems likely. Nonetheless, the gold price needs to sustainably break above the US$1300/oz level for confidence in the precious metal to remain high. Although futures market positioning is reaching stretched levels, with myriad economic indicators to be released this week from the US, China, the Eurozone and the UK, any disappointment will boost gold higher.
Palladium inflows reach the highest level since November 2015. Although modest, the US$3.0mn inflows represent the second consecutive week of inflows, and the largest since late November 2015. Car sales have been buoyant with US light vehicle sales rising 5% over the past month (4% yoy), according to Autodata. Meanwhile, support for platinum group metals could be renewed in coming weeks, as the so-called ‘strike season’ in the South African mining industry looms. New wage negotiations are expected to occur in June, when current agreements lapse. All indications point to troubled negotiations, which led to strikes and a slump in production from the world’s largest PGM mining country.
Energy sector bucks the trend with fourth consecutive week of outflows led by oil ETPs. More profit-taking has been evident in oil ETPs, as prices struggle around US$45/bbl. Last week’s outflows of US$38.7mn takes outflows over the past month to US$236mn. While crude prices were supported late last week as a wild fire threatened a not insignificant amount of Canadian oil sands output, such support is likely to fade with ongoing builds in US oil storage volumes. Last week’s outflows of US$38.7mn takes outflows over the past month to US$236mn. 80% of last week’s outflows consisted of withdrawals from WTI crude ETPs.
Diversified industrial metal exposures lead sector with US34.1mn inflows. Tighter fundamentals across a range of industrial metals have seen investors look to gaining broad exposures in the sector, with inflows into broad basket industrial metals ETPs the third highest on record. Copper remains the preferred choice for individual industrial metals exposures, resuming the trend of inflows, which totalled US$5.6mn last week.
Key events to watch this week. The economic calendar is bulging this week, with key economic indicators from around the globe scheduled for release. A raft of Chinese data is released, including trade, retail sales and industrial production will likely be the catalyst for a continued move higher for commodities, particularly industrial metals. Meanwhile, Eurozone inflation and GDP readings will leave no question on the outlook for ECB policy: more stimulus. Central bank report from the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England should shed some light on the outlook for monetary policy, but typically guarded communications could see asset market volatility remain elevated.
Martin Arnold, Research Analyst at ETF Securities provides an analysis of last week’s performance, flow and trading activity in commodity exchange traded products and a look at the week ahead.
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