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Investors Hedging Geopolitical Risks



Investors Hedging Geopolitical Risks
  • Investors Hedging Geopolitical Risks. Arabica coffee rallies on low crop expectations for the 2015/16 season.
  • European equities sustain gains ahead of ECB policy meeting.
  • US Dollar to remain strong on dovish central bank rhetoric.

Investors’ focus remained on geopolitical risks last week, with palladium and gold mining companies benefiting from the escalating conflict in the Ukraine. Russian posturing appears to be escalating and increasingly questioning Ukrainian sovereignty and the UN has urged Western nations to intervene. This week, the focus will likely be central bank policy, with the recent conservative tone keeping the USD well supported.


Arabica coffee rallies on low crop expectations for the 2015/16 season. Fears that the drought at the beginning of this year might impact also next year’s production prompted a 5.5% jump in Arabica coffee prices last week. Meanwhile palladium gained 2.4% last week and it is now trading above US$900oz as the Ukrainian- Russian conflict escalates. Russia is palladium biggest producer with 42% of production and potential trade sanctions to be imposed against the country could substantially disrupt supply of the metal. While palladium is likely to continue being buoyed by heightened geopolitical risks, we believe platinum underperformance is excessive and anticipate the spread between the two metals will widen over the next few months. Tin was the worst performing metal last week, losing 2.1%, as the International Tin Research Institute announced they no longer expect a supply deficit in the tin market in 2014 on higher production.


European equities sustain gains ahead of ECB policy meeting. Last week saw European equity benchmarks rising for the third consecutive week as investors see potential of fresh action from the European Central Bank (ECB) at this week’s policy meeting, following Draghi’s dovish speech at the Jackson Hole. While European leveraged indices rose 1.7% on average over the past week, US equities ended the period relatively flat, despite US GDP at 4.2% for Q2 (yoy), highlighting the impressive pace of economic recovery. Meanwhile, the gold price rebounded near the US$1,300/oz on the revival of tensions in Ukraine, lending support to the DAXglobal® Gold Miners Index, which gained 1.1% over the same period. In our view, the price momentum on gold is likely to continue provided that Russia continues to dispute Ukrainian sovereignty.


US Dollar to remain strong on dovish central bank rhetoric. The conservative tone from central bank policymakers is expected to continue this week, with scheduled meetings from the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of Australia. Supporting the nascent recovery against potential deflationary threats will remain the key message. We do not expect any additional policy measures to be implemented and that all central banks remain in a ‘wait and see’ mode. While new TLTRO measures from the ECB only come into effect in mid-September, President Draghi will be keen to advocate its support for the economy, keeping weight on the Euro. Deflation is the key problem for both Europe and Japan, but while more Yen weakness is likely, Governor Kuroda will be looking for any evidence of wage growth before adding more stimulus. The jobs market continues to be a key focus for policymakers and we expect strong US nonfarm payrolls to show the US recovery is on track, with further US Dollar gains likely.


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”).

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