NEW YORK, April 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Commodities were lower in March, largely driven by fundamental supply factors and 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:
- Energy was the worst performing sector, down 9.22%, as a global oversupply of crude oil continued to serve as a headwind. Heating Oil also declined 11.68% as inventory levels recovered, moving closer to the five-year average as refineries continued to operate at high rates of utilization.
- Agriculture dropped 5.37%, led lower by Sugar. Soybean Oil was also down after the March USDA report estimated soybean inventories were up 34% year-over-year.
- Precious Metals was 1.81% lower for the month due to a drop in Gold as Fed policy still seemed to be heading towards a tightening bias, diverging from other major central bank strategies. However, towards the second half of the month, Gold prices recovered from intra-month lows while the U.S. Dollar reversed course from its strong dollar trend. This was primarily due to U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Yellen going out of her way to show that the Fed would remain patient in adhering to its loose monetary policy, despite removing the word "patience" from its official communication.
- Industrial Metals decreased 1.07%, led lower by Nickel. China reduced its 2015 growth target to 7% from 7.5% in 2014 at the beginning of the month due to continued weak developments out of its housing and manufacturing sectors, indicating weaker base metals demand.
- Livestock increased 1.31%, led higher by Live Cattle. Lean Hogs detracted from some of those gains after a California port slowdown limited pork export capabilities, causing local inventories to build.
Nelson Louie, Global Head of Commodities for Credit Suisse Asset Management said: "Macroeconomic headlines became more prominent drivers of commodities returns during March. By the end of the period, austerity negotiations remained ongoing between Greece and its lenders. The European Central Bank's monetary stimulus measures were well received by the market, but it's too early to determine how this will affect the economic state of the European Union and commodities demand growth. Geopolitical uncertainty increased in the Middle East, with Yemen devolving into a state without its official leader and as deadlines loomed over Iran's nuclear negotiations. Further conflict in the region may create supply shocks for crude. Further east, China expanded its money supply and credit creation, potentially improving demand expectations for commodities in the future."
Christopher Burton, Senior Portfolio Manager for the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy, added, "US economic data, including 2014 GDP growth and unemployment, continued to be decent. However, US Purchasing Managers Index came in lower-than-expected for March. Given that major central banks are focused on easing to stimulate their economies, the Fed would rather err on the side of tightening too late rather than too early to maintain inflation expectations. February's Core CPI (ex-Food and Energy components) was 1.7%, close to the Fed's 2% target. The jobs market has shown signs of wage growth, which may impact wage inflation. If payroll data and consumer spending pick up, inflation may surprise to the upside, which may be a tailwind for commodities."
About the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy
Credit Suisse's Total Commodity Return Strategy has been managed for over 28 years 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 March 31, 2015, the Team managed approximately USD 10.1 billion in assets globally.
Credit Suisse AG
Credit Suisse AG is one of the world's leading financial services providers and is part of the Credit Suisse group of companies (referred to here as 'Credit Suisse'). As an integrated bank, Credit Suisse is able to offer clients its expertise in the areas of private banking, investment banking and asset management from a single source. Credit Suisse provides specialist advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high net worth private clients worldwide, and also to retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse is headquartered in Zurich and operates in over 50 countries worldwide. The group employs approximately 46,000 people. The registered shares (CSGN) of Credit Suisse's parent company, Credit Suisse Group AG, are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CS), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com.
In its Asset Management business, Credit Suisse offers products across a broad spectrum of investment classes, including hedge funds, credit, index, real estate, commodities and private equity products, as well as multi-asset class solutions, which include equities and fixed income products. Credit Suisse's Asset Management business manages portfolios, mutual funds and other investment vehicles for a broad spectrum of clients ranging from governments, institutions and corporations to private individuals. With offices focused on asset management in 19 countries, Credit Suisse's Asset Management business is operated as a globally integrated network to deliver the bank's best investment ideas and capabilities to clients around the world.
All businesses of Credit Suisse are subject to distinct regulatory requirements; certain products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all client types.
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.
Copyright © 2015, CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
SOURCE Credit Suisse AG