After a rough couple of weeks, markets have finally pushed their way back on track with their fourth straight winning day, as the S&P 500 jumped over 1% on strong Chicago PMI numbers and declining unemployment claims to end the quarter. Though investors are experiencing déjà vu with yet another Greek austerity package, we can only sit back and hope that it turns out better this time around and that the highly indebted country is able to get its act together with this latest round of measures. The U.S. dollar saw a dip of approximately 0.37% on the day, giving numerous commodities a healthy boost, though arguably the most popular commodity, gold, dipped just below the $1,500 per ounce mark to close out the first half of 2011 thanks to declining levels of risk aversion [see also Don’t Fight The Curve: Five Commodity ETFs in Backwardation].
Sugar has been in production since ancient history. When the crop was first discovered, it was not plentiful, or cheap to grow and harvest, so many populations used honey as a sweetener instead. However, during various agricultural revolutions, and major improvements in farming techniques and technology, sugar became a widely used commodity. As far as food is concerned, the term “sugar” most often refers to sucrose, which comes from sugarcane or sugar beet. Though this sweet crop is most known for giving our food a more enjoyable flavor, it has a wealth of other uses, including lightening skin discoloration, and alternative fuels. Roughly 20% of the total supply of sugar will end up in what is known as the “dump market”, where governments provide subsidies for producers to sell their surplus supplies for a price much lower than the cost of production. Sugar has become a popular buy among investors, … See the full story here
Cotton is a crop that has been around for centuries and has been important to numerous civilizations throughout history. The crop is most often spun and woven into yarn or textiles to be worn as clothing. In fact, historical evidence suggests that cotton clothing has been around since prehistoric times, and it continues to be an important commodity today. Cotton is the main component of many of our shirts, towels, bed sheets, jeans, socks, underwear, etc. The fluffy commodity is also a popular investment for numerous traders. Cotton has the potential to serve as a useful hedge against inflation, and can also be used for profit during strong economic times, or during times of high demand for raw materials. There are a number of different options to invest in cotton, including futures contracts, stocks of companies engaged in cotton production or planting, and ETFs [see also The Guide To The … See the full story here
This article originally appeared on ETFdb.com. Futures-based investing has long been a popular option for those looking to gain exposure to commodities that were otherwise difficult to reach. But with the introduction of ETFs came increased granularity in this investing segment, as there are now exchange traded products that offer exposure to a wide variety of commodities through a single ticker. This alleviates the stress and complexities that are involved with managing a futures account, while allowing investors to sometimes gain access to multiple commodity futures with just one fund. Still, for everything that ETFs have opened up for the everyday investor, these funds are by no means perfect.
Gasoline is one of the most widely-known and used commodities worldwide. It is primarily utilized for fuels, but can be also used for various reasons like a solvent to dilute paints. While we refer to the liquid as gasoline here in the states, many other parts of the world know it by the term petrol, or sometimes petrogasoline. From a chemical standpoint, this low-density fuel is very volatile, not only because of its natural makeup, but also because of the numerous additives that can be mixed in. Some of these additives include lead, ethanol, and dye [see also The Guide To The Biggest Companies In Every Major Commodity Sector].
Corn is one of the oldest crops known to man. The Aztecs and Mayans cultivated the grain and helped popularize it as a staple crop in the Americas. Corn continues to be a main source of food for people today, and in fact, it is thought to be the second most cultivated plant in human history behind wheat. The yellow grain holds a fundamental role in the agriculture industry, serving as both a staple crop for humans and a necessary ingredient for livestock feed as well. Increasing populations and developing economies have contributed to an ongoing increase in food demand, thus broadly raising the prices of most agricultural commodities over the past few years. Rising fertility rates in regions like South Asia and Sub-Sahara Africa are contributing to the growing demand for food. While emerging economies, like South America, are contributing to an also rising demand for meat, which further … See the full story here
This article originally appeared on ETFdb.com. The latest innovation in the commodity ETP space came from UBS on Thursday, as the company rolled out a pair of products designed to exploit contango in two of the most heavily-traded energy futures markets. The new ETRACS Natural Gas Futures Contango ETN (GASZ) and ETRACS Oil Futures Contango ETN (OILZ) will be linked to indexes maintained by ISE that effectively maintain short exposure to front month contracts and long exposure to mid-term futures contracts.