NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Commodity performance in August was relatively flat and largely driven by macroeconomic headlines, according to Credit Suisse Asset Management.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return performance was negative for the month, with 17 out of 22 Index constituents trading lower.
Credit Suisse Asset Management observed the following:
- Agriculture was the worst performing sector, down 3.85%, as increased concerns over economic growth in China, the largest importer of Soybeans, weighed on demand expectations. In addition, favorable weather in the U.S. Midwest continued to improve crop conditions, raising production estimates for both Corn and Soybeans. Soybean Oil and Soybeans decreased after the U.S. Department of Agriculture ("USDA") projected larger-than-expected production levels for the 2015/2016 season.
- Industrial Metals decreased 2.80%, with all constituents posting negative returns, as continued weakness in Chinese manufacturing data lowered the demand outlook for the world's biggest consumer of base metals. Nickel declined the most amid increased concerns over the Chinese government's ability to reverse their economic slowdown.
- Energy increased 0.75%, led by Heating Oil, due to continued strong demand for petroleum products. In addition, WTI Crude Oil and Brent Crude Oil increased into month-end, after initially falling significantly, as macro-risk pressures eased. Crude oil output for the first half of 2015 was revised lower after the U.S. Energy Information Administration ("EIA") altered its methodology for assessing production.
- Livestock ended the month 1.13% higher, led by Lean Hogs, amid rising expectations that China would increase imports of U.S. pork to help offset domestic low production due to its smaller inventory of hogs.
- Precious Metals was the best performing sector, up 2.16%, as safe haven demand increased when global growth expectations were lowered due to China's slowdown, which also weighed on global equity markets. Gold was higher amid decreased expectations of an interest rate increase at the U.S. Federal Reserve's September meeting.
Nelson Louie, Global Head of Commodities for Credit Suisse Asset Management, said: "Global macroeconomic headlines will continue to be drivers of commodity returns. Despite the slowdown in China and its potential impact on the world economy, global central banks in Europe and Asia continue to be committed to stimulus measures in an effort to revive growth. China devalued its currency in an effort to incentivize exports and avoid a hard landing scenario. In Europe, other factors such as a strengthening currency and low Eurozone inflation are likely to force its central bank to continue its easing measures. Meanwhile, within the U.S., although economic data would seem to suggest that an interest rate increase is imminent, conditions within the broader global economy may keep the U.S. Federal Reserve on an accommodative path for longer."
Christopher Burton, Senior Portfolio Manager for the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy, added, "In addition to macro events, supply and demand factors will continue to play an important role. While grain prices have weakened, weather risks remain and may even increase within an El Nino weather event year. Crude and petroleum prices will most likely continue to be driven by supply fundamentals. Expectations increased towards the end of the month that OPEC may be considering production cuts, while current low oil prices may force additional supply cuts by producers. Despite lower global growth expectations and excess supplies in many commodities, continued unprecedented monetary stimulus measures may increase the likelihood of unforeseen inflation risk."
About the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy
Credit Suisse's Total Commodity Return Strategy is managed by a team with over 28 years of experience, and seeks to outperform the return of a commodities index, such as the Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return or the S&P GSCI Total Return Index, using both a quantitative and qualitative commodity research process. Commodity index total returns are achieved through:
- Spot Return: price return on specified commodity futures contracts;
- Roll Yield: impact due to migration of futures positions from near to far contracts; and
- Collateral Yield: return earned on collateral for the futures.
As of August 31, 2015, the Team managed approximately USD 9.7 billion in assets globally.
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Important Legal Information
This document was produced by and the opinions expressed are those of Credit Suisse as of the date of writing and are subject to change without obligation to update. It has been prepared solely for information purposes and for the use of the recipient. It does not constitute an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of Credit Suisse to any person to buy or sell any security. Any reference to past performance is not a guide to future performance. The information and analysis contained in this publication have been compiled or arrived at from sources believed to be reliable but Credit Suisse does not make any representation as to their accuracy or completeness and does not accept liability for any loss arising from the use hereof.
Certain information contained in this document constitutes "Forward-Looking Statements" (including observations about markets and industry and regulatory trends as of the original date of this document), which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "should", "expect", "anticipate", "target", "project", "estimate", "intend", "continue" or "believe", or the negatives thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. Due to various risks and uncertainties beyond our control, actual events, results or performance may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements. Credit Suisse has no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements in this document.
Certain risks relating to investing in Commodities and Commodity-Linked Investments: Exposure to commodity markets should only form a small part of a diversified portfolio. Investment in commodity markets may not be suitable for all investors. Commodity investments will be affected by changes in overall market movements, commodity volatility, exchange-rate movements, changes in interest rates, and factors affecting a particular industry or commodity, such as drought, floods, weather, livestock disease, embargoes, tariffs and international economic, political and regulatory developments. Commodity markets are highly volatile. The risk of loss in commodities and commodity-linked investments can be substantial. There is generally a high degree of leverage in commodity investing that can significantly magnify losses. Gains or losses from speculative derivative positions may be much greater than the derivative's original cost. An investment in commodities is not a complete investment program and should represent only a portion of an investor's portfolio management strategy.
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