ETF Securities – Silver and Nickel in Focus as Investors Turn More Positive on Global Growth. Over the past week investors have turned more positive in the outlook for the global economy and for a peaceful resolution to the Ukrainian crisis, with more industrially-sensitive commodities like silver and nickel seeing strong inflows and gold seeing outflows. Although US bond yields have been declining recently, possibly partly due to weaker than expected growth data from the US in the first part of the year, most forward looking indicators point to US recovery in 2Q 2014 and into the second half of the year. Stronger US growth, together with indications China’s stimulus policies are starting to have a positive effect on China growth (PMIs hit 5 year highs in May), increase our confidence that global recovery remains on track, supporting our positive view on broad commodity performance, with the industrial metals, platinum and palladium our top picks.
ETFS Daily Leveraged Silver (LSIL) receives US$9mn of inflows as investors rotate out of gold into silver. Silver inventories have been trending down this year as industrial demand has picked up. Due to its larger industrial demand base, silver tends to be more correlated with the business cycle. Supply and demand indicators are turning price positive in our view. Increasing demand from China, increasing investor demand and strong fabrication demand are being met with falling supply and dwindling inventories.
Gold ETPs see the biggest outflows since March as investors focus on more cyclical commodities. A stronger dollar, coupled with fears of a slowdown in physical demand from China, weighed on the gold price last week driving US$52mn of outflows from gold ETPs. While Chinese net gold imports are up 18% so far this year compared to 2013, recent data shows China imported the least gold since February 2013 in April, feeding fears of dwindling physical buying. In our view this is not the beginning of a new trend and we expect continued robust China gold buying in the coming weeks months.
ETFS Nickel (NICK) see $17mn of inflows following price correction. Despite the recent correction in prices, nickel remains the best performing industrial metal this year with a 37% ytd price rise. While we believe that nickel may have near-term upside on momentum buying, stretched positioning and elevated inventories could cap further price rises. At the same time, long copper ETPs saw US$8.1mn of outflows last week on concerns over the US economy after Q1 GDP was revised downward from +0.1% to -1.0%. Given positioning and sentiment, we view copper as a less risky way to play the rebound in global growth.
Platinum and palladium ETPs see US$14.1mn of outflows as talks between miners and unions resume. An inter-governmental technical team composed of representatives from the government, the three biggest miners and the AMCU is working on a possible resolution to the 19-week long South African strikes. Supply of both metals has become a lot tighter in recent months, impairing producers’ ability to meet their contractual obligations. We believe platinum and palladium could rally sharply should mining companies fail to meet all contractual obligations or announce active metal buying on the open market.
ETFS Daily Leveraged Wheat (LWEA) records US$4.1mn of inflows on lower expected global wheat crop in 2014. The International Grains Council lowered its estimate for this year’s global wheat production last week, claiming that bad weather has adversely affected crop conditions. However, the wheat price dropped by a further 4.1% last week, as investors became more optimistic on a peaceful resolution to the Ukrainian crisis. Ukraine and Russia account for 16% of global wheat exports.
Key events to watch this week
This week the focus will be on the ECB rate decision with a cut in rates increasingly likely this month. US Non-farm payrolls will also be monitored to assess the strength of the US economy and the pace of tapering by the Fed.
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”).