ETF Securities Weekly Flows Analysis – Failure to agree on a production freeze to weigh on oil
- Gold ETPs recorded another week of large inflows with current price momentum likely to last until the next Fed meeting on April 27.
- A surge in oil prices ahead of the global oil producers meeting yesterday triggered profit taking last week with prices likely to weaken again as the meeting resulted in a non-agreement.
- Improving sentiment has seen increased inflows into industrial metals ETPs since March 2016.
Interest in gold to continue until Fed uncertainty is lifted. Last week saw another US$180mn flow into gold ETPs, despite the yellow metal losing some ground, bringing total year-to-date inflows into gold ETPs to US$1.8bn. Strength in demand for the metal is likely to continue until the Fed provides more clarity on what it is looking for to make its next move.
Profit-taking ahead of the oil producers meeting could be followed by inflows again. Energy ETPs recorded US$80mn outflows last week, almost exclusively from oil ETPs. Buoyant oil market activity ahead of the OPEC/non-OPEC oil producers meeting on Sunday sent both Brent and WTI above the US$40/bbl. Prices surged 11.2% and 11.4% respectively over the past week to Thursday triggering profit taking, marking the largest weekly outflows since April 2015. Despite the strong likelihood of Iran absence stopping any potential agreement, investors were still pricing in an agreement to occur. As a result, yesterday’s lack of agreement to freeze output will likely see a sell-off in oil this week. We however believe that a lower for longer oil price should support global economic growth and demand for oil which will translate into the oil market falling into deficit this year, even without a cut in oil supply. Inflows into oil ETPs may return this week as prices weaken.
Interest in commodity basket ETPs increased across the complex. Diversified and sectorial commodity basket ETPs all recorded inflows last week, totalling US$53.5mn. Diversified broad baskets lead the board with net inflows of US$35mn, followed by precious metals baskets (US$9.1mn) and then industrial metals baskets (US$7.2mn). As different commodities tend to be driven by different factors, an exposure to a basket of commodities certainly allows investors to catch the momentum while mitigating the downside risks specific to individual commodities.
Sentiment towards industrial metals improves slowly but surely. Last week saw the largest inflows into industrial metal ETPs since May 2015 of US$29mn, mostly driven by inflows into copper ETPs. The commodity sector has seen continued and increasing inflows since early March 2016 indicating that the momentum is slowly but surely building up. Supporting this trend, short industrial metals ETPs have recorded increasing outflows at the same time. We continue to believe that this year will be a turning point for metals as we expect copper, nickel and zinc to be in deficit this year while demand from China remains robust.
Key events to watch this week. A number of confidence indicators and manufacturing PMIs are likely to be in focus. The Australian and Canadian central banks will publish their meeting minutes while the European Central Bank (ECB) rate decision this Thursday is likely to be a non-event unless it publishes technical details of the expanded quantitative easing programme it intends to start in June.
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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.