Weekly Investment Insights – Correction potential builds for cotton
Cotton has experienced a strong rebound following years of decline.
The rally is supported by a record accumulation of speculative positioning and is vulnerable to a pullback.
A more robust supply picture could threaten recent gains as the cotton price trades at resistance levels.
After plunging to seven year lows in late February 2016 cotton prices have staged a considerable rebound (up approximately 39%*) to currently sit at the USc 75.8/lb level. The recovery follows a multi–year decline from 2011 highs of over USc 200/lb as competition from low-cost manmade fibres (such as polyester) resulted in a 78% drop in cotton imports from China. The recent moves have been driven by a cotton market that, according to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates, looks set to be in deficit for the second year in succession. The relatively strong fundamental situation has been helped by healthy and stable global demand and stalled output from India, historically a key cotton exporter responsible for almost a fifth of global exports. However, cotton pricesappear increasingly vulnerable to a reversal from unwinding of record speculative futures positioning and more buoyant supply prospects in coming months, creating a potential attractive opportunity to acquire short exposure to the soft commodity.
Figure 1: Cotton rebounds from nadir
(click to enlarge)
Indian output to normalise
Recent estimates of the 2016/17 cotton market shortfall from the USDA and other organisations have been revised lower as US harvest forecasts have been upwardly adjusted. Some of the tightness in the market last year came from reduced Indian output as less cotton was able to reach the global market due to the government invalidating larger banknote denominations. This created a scarcity in cash and in turn payment problems and delivery delays, leading to what Commerzbank estimate to be 16% less Indian production available to the wider market between October and December last year. Once this issue abates, supply should return and place further pressure on an ever smaller looking cotton market deficit and in turn the cotton futures price.
Stretched positioning and resistance – tomorrow
Speculative long futures positioning towards cotton is currently sitting at a record high, at over double its previous high from August 2013 (when the price was above USc 90/lb), while shorts are half their five year average. This one sided nature of the market leaves the cotton price susceptible to a pullback if sentiment amongst speculators should shift, something that could be spurred by future reports of a more robust supply picture. The price has struggled to sustain a break higher than the USc 75.5/lb level and is likely to face resistance at the early February high of USc 77.4/lb. Should more bearish fundamentals emerge, then the price could fall to its recent low of USc 73/lb or further to its 100 daily moving average of near USc 71.4/lb.
Investors wishing to express the investment views outlined above may consider using the following ETF Securities ETPs:
ETFS Cotton (COTN)
ETFS 2x Daily Long Cotton (LCTO)
ETFS 1x Daily Short Cotton (SCTO)
ETFS EUR Daily Hedged Cotton (ECTN)
Swiss Franc Daily Hedged Cotton (CCTN)
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Bankerna världen över har haft en dålig kursutveckling, och många av dessa finansiella institut har sett sina aktiekurser hamras ned hårt, men det finns hopp och det är kanske för tidigt att ge upp hoppet. Räkna inte ut bankerna ännu tror att både aktiekurserna och kurserna hos de börshandlade fonder som replikerar kursutvecklingen för bankerna har varit bland de sämsta detta år.
På den amerikanska aktiemarknaden är den finansiella sektorn den sektor i S&P 500 som har utvecklats sämst under 2016. SPDR Financial Select Sector (NYSEArca: XLF) har backat mer än sjutton procent under året, men det finns de analytiker som ser möjligheter efter det att aktiekurserna har fallit så pass kraftigt. Philippe Bodereau, portföljförvaltare på Pacific Investment Management Co säger att bankerna är översålda, och att han ser en del låga värderingar som en följd av utförsäljningarna. Han avslutar med att säga att han anser att det är ett underbart köptillfälle.
JP Morgans VD ökar sitt eget innehav
Jamie Dimon, CEO på JPMorgan & Chase (NYSE: JPM) är tydligen av samma åsikt, han köpte nyligen aktier för 26,6 MUSD i det egna bolaget.
Den som Jamie Dimon tror på den amerikanska banksektorn har en rad olika börshandlade fonder att välja på, till exempel
PowerShares KBW Bank Portfolio (NYSEArca: KBWB) SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEArca: KBE) SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (NYSEArca: KRE) iShares U.S. Regional Banks ETF (NYSEArca: IAT)
JPM har en kapitalvikt på 8,5 procent i PowerShares KBW Bank Portfolio (NYSEArca: KBWB) och 2,6 procent i SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEArca: KBE).
Många analytiker ser också möjligheter till stigande kurser för de europeiska bankerna. Krishna Memani, chief investment officer på Oppenheimer Funds säger att värdena på de europeiska bankerna har stigit kraftigt. Deras lönsamhet är lägre, men inte tillräckligt för att avstå att köpa dem i åratal. Med en placeringshorisont på tre till fem år finns det goda köptillfällen på den europeiska bankmarknaden säger hon.
iShares MSCI Europe Financials ETF (NYSEArca: EUFN) har rasat med mer än 20 procent sedan starten 2016. EUFN har allokerat 1,5 procent av sitt kapital till Deutsche Bank och 0,5 procent till Commerzbank. Räkna inte ut bankerna, Deutsche Bank meddelade nyligen att banken återköper egna obligationer för mer än fem miljarder dollar så det finns helt klart pengar i bankernas kassavalv.
SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF (NYSEArca: XLF)
XLF syftar till att ge ett investeringsresultat som, före kostnader, motsvarar kursen och utvecklingen av börsnoterade aktier för de företag som ingår i Financial Select Sector Index. I sin strävan att följa utvecklingen för indexet, använder fonden en replikeringsstrategi. Den investerar i allmänhet i huvudsak alla, men åtminstone 95 procent, av de totala tillgångarna i värdepapper som ingår i indexet. Indexet omfattar företag från följande branscher: diversifierade finansiella tjänster; försäkring; affärsbanker; kapitalmarknader; REITs; konsumentkrediter; thrifts och hypotekslån; och fastighetsförvaltning och utveckling. Detta är en av SPDRs så kallade ”sektor-ETFer
NGM expanderar till Danmark. Idag, den 11 januari, lanserar NGM börsen i Danmark och stärker konkurrensen på den danska marknaden. Inledningsvis lanserar NGM sin verksamhet inom börshandlade produkter, så kallade ETP:er.
NGM erbjuder handel i aktier, obligationer, strukturerade produkter, börshandlade produkter och andra typer av värdepapper som har sett en stark tillväxt de senaste åren. I och med lanseringen i Danmark tas i dag nästa viktiga steg mot ett komplett nordiskt erbjudande.
– Vår erfarenhet från tidigare lanseringar på monopoliserade marknader är givetvis att konkurrens är väldigt positivt, framförallt för investerarna. Vi kommer att erbjuda fler investeringsalternativ och bättre tjänster för de danska investerarna, säger Roger Peleback, VD på NGM.
Banker och övriga emittenter av värdepapper gynnas också tydligt av konkurrens med exempelvis kraftigt sjunkande noteringskostnader där priset sänkts med upp till 90 % sedan monopolen brutits av NGM.
Inledningsvis lanserar NGM sin verksamhet inom börshandlade produkter, även kallat ETP:er som exempelvis Bull & Bear-certifikat och Mini Futures, där NGM idag är ledande i Norden med en marknadsandel på 80 procent. Marknaden för dessa produkter har vuxit snabbt i framförallt Sverige och Finland men på senare år har intresset ökat även i Danmark.
– Det är en tydlig trend i Norden och stora delar av Europa att investerare söker möjligheter utöver traditionella fonder och aktier. I Sverige har ETP-marknaden mångdubblats under de senaste fem åren och intresset ökar nu även i Danmark. Kombinationen av det ökande intresset, strukturella förändringar på den danska marknaden samt det idag förhållandevis tunna produktutbudet gör att vi ser en stor potential i Danmark, fortsätter Roger Peleback.
Produkterna som inledningsvis kommer att bli tillgängliga via NGM i Danmark är lämpade för de mer välinformerade investerarna och börsen kommer därför arbeta tillsammans med emittenterna och lokala börsmedlemmar för att tillhandahålla gedigen utbildning.
– Kunskap om hur olika finansiella produkter fungerar är oerhört viktigt och vår långsiktiga satsning på detta har lagt grunden för vår framgång. Det kommer vi självklart att visa även i Danmark, fortsätter Roger Peleback.
Från och med idag kan danska investerare handla med produkterna via sina depåer hos sin lokala bank eller mäklare. Första emittenten av produkter är den tyska banken Commerzbank, en av Europas största banker inom börshandlade produkter.
ETF inflows put a break on gold price decline. Energy: Brent would appear to have stabilised at $105 a barrel, and is embarking upon a moderate recovering. The same is true of WTI, which has risen to $98.5 a barrel this morning. When compared with last week’s major losses, though, today’s upturn is modest. For some days, the market focused entirely on ample physical supplies, but they now seem to be paying more attention to the supply-side risks again. The situation in Iraq remains unclear. It is alleged that Kurdish fighters, supported by the Iraqi airforce, have retaken some areas held by the Sunni extremists Islamic State. At the weekend, this faction captured two smaller oilfield and the biggest Iraqi dam. In the light of this news, it is hardly surprising that oil exports from northern Iraq are still at a halt. According to the Iraqi oil ministry, exports from the south of the country amounted to 2.44 million barrels a day in July, slightly more than in June. However, according to shipment details, oil exports still amounted to an average of 2.52 million barrels a day up to 23 July, which points to a sharp dip in the final week of the month. In mid-July, Iraq was still assuming that exports were reaching 2.6 million barrels a day. Libya’s oil output currently amounts to 450,000 barrels a day, compared with 500,000 barrels a day a week ago. With hostilities there continuing, Libyan oil supplies can be expected to shrink even further, even though the oilfields are safe according to the state oil company NOC.
Precious metals: Gold is still trading below the $1,300 mark, apparently supported latterly by ETF inflows: In July, the ETFs tracked by Bloomberg on a monthly basis recorded a net inflow again for the first time since March. The 15.7 tons registered constituted the largest monthly quantity since November 2012, but one swallow doesn’t make a summer. Over the year so far on balance, there has still been an outflow of some 30 tons of gold from ETFs. In view of the headwinds presented by additional demand components, the ETF inflows will probably merely have slowed down the price decline in recent weeks. While the present negative factors remain – a strong US dollar, weak physical demand in Asia, and weak coin sales in the west – we do not envisage any serious price gains. In addition to modest coin sales in the US, Australian coin sales too, for example, dipped sharply month on month in July to 25,100 ounces.
Demand from the automobile industry for platinum and palladium remains robust. There were 16.4 million vehicle sales in the US in July, measured on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. While this was down slightly on June, when the highest figure for almost eight years was recorded, it was nevertheless up 4.5% on a year ago.
CHART OF THE DAY: Diverging development of corn prices in the US and China
Base metals: Indonesia’s trade deficit rose again in June to some $305 million, owing mainly to a drop in commodity exports. The first-half deficit amounted to $1.15 billion on account of the country’s new mineral resources policy introduced in mid-January. This is no doubt one reason for the government’s announcement yesterday that the export tax on ore concentrates would be cut to 0-7.5%. The original tax was on a progressive scale starting at 20%, but the reduced rate applies to mining companies who have made a commitment to build smelting plants in Indonesia, and is linked to construction progress. According to a government authority, the mineral ore export ban and the export tax together have resulted in at least 50 projects for the construction of smelters in Indonesia being launched, with a total value of over $31 billion. They are to be realized in the coming years. Consequently, we could soon see more supply from Indonesia on the global market again, with the situation on the nickel, bauxite and copper markets easing. Copper producer Freeport-McMoRan, which reached an agreement with the Indonesian government just over a week ago, will according to its own information be exporting copper concentrates again as of tomorrow. Since the rise in nickel prices this year in particular was due to the Indonesian export ban, we see scope for correction here in the event of higher exports.
Agriculturals: While corn is trading at a four-year low in Chicago, prices in China are soaring. Corn has risen 10% so far this year on the Dalian spot market to hit a new high. On the futures market, contracts maturing in September are trading at a multi-year high. Some of the country’s major cultivation areas, amounting to 4 million hectares, are suffering a drought. This brings a threat of a lower yield, especially in the central Chinese provinces Henan, Shaanxi and Hubei.
However, forecasts are still predicting a record corn harvest in China. The USDA, for example, raised its forecast in July by 2 million tons to 222 million, which it expects to match consumption. The International Grains Council has not amended its estimate of 220 million tons. Chinese official forecasts too give a figure of 223 million tons, as higher output is expected in the northwest of the country. Even in the event of a lower crop, therefore, China would probably only have to import a little more corn, especially since it has been building up inventories on a generous scale in recent years, and is highly restrictive with imports of genetically modified varieties. While imports have been high by past standards in recent years, in absolute terms they have been low at a maximum 5.2 million tons in 2011/12, as the country is still adhering to a policy of being as self-sufficient as possible. The USDA envisages imports of 3 million tons in 2014/15.
Gold and base metals make strong gains Gold and silver climbed noticeably yesterday afternoon after the delayed September labour market report in the US fell short of expectations, making it less likely that the US Federal Reserve will scale back its bond purchases in the near future. The Fed’s March meeting is now regarded as the most likely time that this will be decided. As a result, the US dollar also dropped noticeably – falling against the euro to its lowest level in nearly two years – which lent additional support to prices. Gold subsequently rose for a time to a three-week high of just shy of $1,345 per troy ounce, while silver achieved its highest level for 4½ weeks at $22.8 per troy ounce. For the first time in ages, the sharp increase in the gold price was accompanied by high ETF inflows. At 6.5 tons in total, all gold ETFs tracked by Bloomberg recorded their highest combined daily inflow for over a year. The SPDR Gold Trust reported a 6.6 ton increase in its holdings. Any sustained trend reversal would require more than just one pronounced daily inflow, however. That said, if the coming days should see further inflows, the latest price increase could turn out to be more lasting this time.
Platinum, and above all palladium, were hardy able to profit at all from the sharp rise in the price of gold, on the other hand. Palladium gained “only” 0.5% on a closing price basis yesterday and this morning is already shedding these gains again. Evidently investment demand is faltering at present, for palladium ETFs yesterday saw their second relatively high daily outflow in a row.