Displaying items by tag: Commodities
Gold has had an extraordinary run over the last few months. It is the first time it has really broken out of its funk since just after the Crisis. However, both JP Morgan and Barclays are saying it is probably time to cash out. Both argue that gold’s recent rise has been driven by speculation and not real fundamentals, such as the direction of the Dollar and interest rates. As such, these prices look vulnerable.
FINSUM: This is good analysis, but we also have another reason for you—if the Fed cuts and investors switch to risk-on assets, where does that leave gold?
Gold has been stuck in a bear market for a long time. However, it is getting close to completely breaking out of its funk, as the yellow metal is at a 6-year high. Gold is being driven by worries over the economy, falling yields, and a potentially weaker Dollar, as well as geopolitical fears. UBS summed up gold’s position this way, saying “[Due to the] declining cost of holding gold as rates remain low or continue to fall, gold’s appeal as a diversifier and alternative asset amid the current macro environment is increasing”.
FINSUM: Our only worry about gold is if rate cuts cause a risk-on move by investors that will leave gold in the dust.
We know, we know, you don’t want to hear about oil. No one seems interested in the all-important commodity at the moment, but that is exactly why you might want to pay attention. Oil stocks have had a terrible decade—down 10% while the S&P 500 rose almost 300%, hence the derision they face from investors. Prices are so low that oil now composes just 4.5% of the S&P 500, very near to the lowest ever (in 1999). The big question investors need to be asking themselves is “is this peak pessimism”?
FINSUM: We think oil stocks offer some value right now, but what will be the catalyst to make them rise? A big economic boom seems unlikely at present. Oil missed this cycle and it is still oversupplied. We would stay away.
Oil prices are going to get some support as OPEC is planning to cut its output. That won’t be welcome news to those at the pump this summer, but it is good for the oil industry. Within the cuts, there will be winners and losers. One big worry is that the cuts won’t even work because there is still too much production from the US and because the primary fears are on the demand side, not the production side. The key is to buy oil stocks that can thrive in a low price environment and deliver improving returns to investors. These include EOG Resources, Suncor, Pioneer Natural Resources, NRG Energy, and Delek.
FINSUM: Oil stocks are deeply out of favor right now, so this is quite a contrarian call, but given the catalyst of OPEC cut they may be a solid bet.
Gold just took the jobs report on the chin. As our readers will know, the US jobs report from Friday was nothing short of stellar, with the job creation numbers blowing away all expectations, and in doing so, lowering the odds and potential pace of Fed rate cuts. That led to a big sell-off in gold on Friday that followed an even larger one Monday. Gold lost almost 4% over just two days last week.
FINSUM: The jobs report simultaneously sapped gold of the fear boost it gets from worries about the economy, as well as the potential benefit of lower rates.