ETFS Multi-Asset Weekly Investor Sentiment Improves Amidst Eurozone and UK Uncertainty Investor sentiment improved last week, boosting industrial metals and China A shares, as Russia and Ukraine made progress towards the termination of the conflict and China PMI surprised on the upside. While geopolitical risks appear to be subsiding, uncertainty over the recovery in the Eurozone and the Scottish Independence vote in the UK remains, weighing on both the Euro and Sterling.
Nickel jumps 4% on Philippines ban reports. Nickel is the best performing industrial metal year-to-date, up 40%, following on from an export ban in Indonesia, nickel’s biggest producer. So far China has been able to supply the high-grade laterites required to aliment its nickel pig iron industry from the Philippines. However, should the rumours of a ban in the Philippines be confirmed, about 45% of mine supply would be taken off the market. Zinc also rallied last week, consolidating the gains achieved during the past few months. Zinc is expected to be in a deficit for a second consecutive year in 2014 on planned mine closures and strong demand for galvanised steel from China. Meanwhile, wheat and corn continued their slump, losing 7.3% and 6.2% respectively last week on abundant harvest expectations. However, with prices at multi-year lows and frost concerns in some parts of the US threatening to reduce expected production, prices could recover part of their losses over the next few weeks.
European equities surge on ECB unexpected cut in rate. Last week saw European equity benchmarks rising after the ECB announced fresh stimulus to support Eurozone activity, reviving equity market sentiment with leveraged European indices gaining 6.1% on average over the past week, the highest weekly change since December 2013. However, uncertainty over the Scottish Independence vote has seen UK equities sink in early trading, and downward pressure is likely if polls indicate independence parties keeping the upper hand. Recent USD strength following the ECB meeting caused the gold price and the DAXglobal® Gold Miners Index to tumble, down 1.6% and 4.7% respectively, erasing the previous week’s gains. Meanwhile, better-than-expected August China PMI gave a boost to the MSCI China A Index, with price momentum likely to continue as China economy recovers.
British Pound plunges on Scottish independence polls. The pound touched 10- month lows as polls show that Scottish independence voters have the lead going into the independence vote in two weeks time. The Pound is likely to remain under pressure in the near-term as volatility rises, but investors will be closely watching polls in the lead-up to the September 18 vote. The Euro dropped to its weakest level in 14 months after the worsening inflation outlook and the fading economic momentum caused the ECB to surprise the market with further policy support. The ECB cut its policy rates by another 10bps and announced an asset backed security purchase programme and a covered bond purchase programme to revive the flow of credit to the real economy. We expect the USD to strengthen despite last week disappointing jobs report. While US jobs missed expectations, we feel rising US growth will prompt rate differentials to widen in favour of the US and support 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”).