Commodity ETP Weekly – Long oil ETP inflows at a 17 month year high
- Investors injected US$113mn into long oil ETPs suggesting they expect current price weakness to be temporary.
- Sterling on the other hand is likely to remain weak for longer as the Bank of England cut the Bank Rate to a new record low and expanded its stimulus package by another £170bn.
- While investors continue to pile into gold ETPs, robotics and cybersecurity ETPs are gaining traction.
As the first signs of economic slowdown in the UK start to emerge in the wake of the EU referendum, members of the Bank of England’s MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) last Thursday unanimously voted to cut interest rates to a new historical low of 0.25%. While the rate cut, the first one since 2009, was widely expected, the Bank of England cut its growth forecast for 2018 to 1.8% from 2.3% and unleashed a huge expansion of its stimulus package adding £70bn to its bond purchase programme and allowing banks to borrow up to £100bn thanks to its new funding scheme.
Investors increased exposure into long oil ETPs by the most since March 2015 as WTI fell below US$40/bbl. Last week saw net inflows of US$113mn into long oil ETPs as well as outflows of US$4mn from short oil ETPs as the price of WTI fell below the US$40/bbl. early last week. The unusual increase of oil inventories in the US for the second consecutive week is weighing on the price of both oil benchmarks despite gasoline inventories showing a large drawn-down for the first time this summer. Petroleum inventories in the US tend to decline during the summer driving season. We expect WTI crude inventories to follow gasoline inventories and start to decrease in coming weeks.
Gold continues to see inflows as it trades near a 2-year high. Last week saw US$74.4mn inflows into gold ETPs. While initially rising due to monetary expansion in the UK and fiscal expansion in Japan, gold slid following a bullish US non-farm payroll release. The recent decline could generate a fresh-round of buying as investors seek to shore up hedges in their portfolio.
Robotics and cybersecurity gain traction. Viewed as the sectors of the future, we believe that both robotic and cybersecurity are likely to perform well if held in a portfolio for the long term due to their stable revenues. Equity indices exposed to robotic and cyber stocks rose 7% and 9% respectively over the past month while the ETPs saw net inflows of US$27.2mn and US$10.7mn respectively over the same period.
Short sterling and long euro, the leitmotif in the FX market. Following the Bank of England decision to cut its policy rate and expand its quantitative easing, the British pound fell by 1.6% against the Euro generating inflows of US$6.4mn into short GBP ETPs. Combined with the strong US non-farm payroll the following day, Sterling was down 2.4% against the US dollar. We are likely to see further downward pressure on the pound in the near term.
Key events to watch this week. China trade balance for July came higher than expected this morning as China imports dropped by 5.7%. The country is due to release a number of other indicators over the course of the week including CPI, retail sales and industrial production. UK 3 month GDP estimate for July will be closely watched along with UK and US retail sales.
Edith Southammakosane, Multi-Asset Strategist 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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ETF Securities Research team
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