June 12, 2013 at 09:15 AM EDT
Commodity Market Decreased in May Amid Mixed Signals from the Global Economy

NEW YORK, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Commodities were lower in May as uncertainty surrounding the future of the global economic recovery remained high.

Nelson Louie, Global Head of Commodities in Credit Suisse's Asset Management business, said, "Over the second half of the month financial markets became increasingly nervous over the possibility that the Federal Reserve will begin to taper its program of asset purchases in coming months.  This sent the ten-year yield sharply higher and started to increase risk aversion.  The heightened concerns were due to numerous mentions of scaling back the pace of quantitative easing by various members of the Federal Reserve Board.  Also, US economic data began to come in better than expected.  Markets are currently caught between good economic news being positive as it can indicate the recovery is gaining traction, or good economic news being negative in the short term as it may mean monetary policy will tighten.  However, the bias of most major central banks, especially in the US and Japan, seems to be toward being overly easy, rather than risk tightening too early."

Christopher Burton, Senior Portfolio Manager for the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy, added, "As a result of these mixed signals, uncertainty surrounding the future of the global economic recovery remains high.  With global growth remaining below average in the first quarter, and recent data suggesting continued weakness this quarter, commodities continue to face headwinds.  However, some key indicators suggest stronger growth further out, which would ultimately support economically sensitive commodities.  With the market currently not expecting higher inflation and central banks not overly concerned by it either, commodities may benefit should growth materialize at higher levels than expected."   

The Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total Return decreased 2.24% in May.  Overall, 15 out of 22 index constituents posted negative returns.  Precious Metals was the worst performing sector, down 6.09%, as the dollar strengthened and interest rates rose sharply.  Holdings in gold exchange-traded funds continued to fall, reaching their lowest levels in four years.  Energy declined 4.71%, led by Natural Gas.  Crude oil and petroleum products also decreased as a weak economic outlook continued to weigh on demand expectations, while the current supply and demand balance is not overly tight. The US Department of Energy conditionally approved a permit allowing a US company to export liquefied natural gas to countries without existing free trade agreements with the US, providing a potential boost for longer term demand.  Livestock was relatively unchanged, down 0.33%, as Lean Hogs increased while Live Cattle decreased.  Exports were reported weaker for the first quarter of 2013, partially due to import restrictions in China and Russia.  China's largest publicly-traded meat processor announced its bid for the largest pork producer in the US, Smithfield Foods.  This may boost US pork exports to China.  Agriculture was also relatively unchanged, up 0.04%.  Corn was supported by Chinese buying and strong demand from US ethanol manufacturers.  Coffee declined on the back of expectations of a record "off year" crop out of Brazil, which accounts for about one-third of the world's coffee supply and existing comfortable inventory levels.  Industrial Metals gained 1.61% as declining zinc and aluminum stocks in London Metals Exchange warehouses supported the sector, in addition to gains in copper.  The better than expected US employment report at the beginning of the month along with strong consumer confidence readings provided a boost to the economically sensitive sector at the beginning of the month.

About the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy
Credit Suisse's Total Commodity Return Strategy has been managed for 18 years and seeks to outperform the return of a commodities index, such as the Dow Jones–UBS 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 May 31st, 2013 the team managed approximately USD 10.8 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 46,900 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.

Asset Management
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 © 2013, CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.

 

SOURCE Credit Suisse AG

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