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US in Focus as Economy Gains Momentum



US in Focus as Economy Gains Momentum

ETFS Multi-Asset Weekly A Turbulent Week for Investors US in Focus as Economy Gains Momentum


  • Natural gas rallies on first winter cold.
  • Global equities extend their gains.
  • Currency wars continue.

The US economy continued to gain traction last week, with US non-farm payroll numbers adding 214k new jobs and the US ISM manufacturing rebounding sharply. With a holiday shortened week for the US markets, investors will be firmly focusing on the European headlines this week, with Q3 GDP from the Eurozone and the Bank of England releasing its quarterly inflation report.


Natural gas rallies on first winter cold. US Henry Hub prices jumped by almost 15% last week to over US$4 on rising demand expectations following an early winter cold snap in the US. With inventories still 8% below the 5-year average, investors fear a shortage of gas. However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting average to above average temperatures for the 2014-15 winter season, with warmer weather in the West and in New England, and cooler temperatures in parts of the south-central and southeastern United States.

Production is continuing to grow while the EIA has forecasted consumption to be 4.5 Bcf/d lower than last winter’s average demand. Higher levels of production combined with lower levels of consumption should result in a significantly lower drawdown of natural gas inventories this winter, in turn putting downward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, the gold silver ratio hit a 5-year high last week, as the price of silver fell by almost 9% to US$15oz. With prices now hovering around the marginal cost of production, we believe it is only a matter of time before silver regains its shine.


Global equities extend their gains. The DAX index continued to rise last week, despite the European Commission revising down growth forecasts for the Eurozone. While the report predicts that inflation in the Eurozone will continue to be below target and employment will remain elevated, continued stimulus from the ECB should eventually produce its effect on the real economy. The FTSE100® index also moved higher last week. The UK has been one of the best performing developed economies over the past year and we expect that to increasingly be reflected in equity market performance going into 2015. Continued strength in the US job numbers buoyed US equities last week, with the Russell 2000 small caps index and the ROBO-STOX® Global Robotics and Automation Index TR rising by 1.4% and 1.2% respectively.


Currency wars continue. Stealth currency wars are being waged by the ECB and Japan with the massive amounts of stimulus provided to financial markets, in turn prompting currency depreciations. While lower currencies are likely to only have an impact on economic activity at the margin, importing inflation is a critical ingredient when both economies are energy importers and lower oil prices can only be a depressing influence on inflation. Deflationary tendencies have been stalking both economies for many years. Both the Euro and the Yen will remain the global funding currencies for many years. Looking ahead, with the Eurozone expected to post no growth for Q3, the Euro is going to struggle to make any progress against the wave of stimulus that the European Central bank is willing to provide. Rates will accordingly remain low or negative for 2015 in the Eurozone, a stark contrast to our expectations for a modest rate hike by the Fed in Q2 next year.

Important Information

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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