This past week was yet another one dominated by European headlines, as commodity markets took a backseat to investor speculation and worry over how the EU would respond to their debt crisis. The nation-bloc finally did come to an agreement early today, which relieved some commodities of a big weight on their shoulders. Crude oil was a big story this week as it started off the week strong, hitting $102/barrel intraday, to sinking all the way to $98/barrel. Despite the good news from Europe, crude was down in early trading today. As we near the end of the year and investors prepare them selves for a, hopefully, strong 2012, it is important to gain a fresh perspective on various commodity markets. In an effort to help better educate commodity investors on today’s environment, we outline three of the best commodity stories from around the web this week [see also 25 Ways To Invest In Crude Oil].
Oil at $150 Becomes Biggest Options Bet on Iran at Bloomberg:
With 2011 coming to a close, many investors are placing bets on their favorite commodities for the coming year. Crude oil has always been a speculative play, as some feel like it has nowhere to go but up and still others disagree. But for the coming year, it seems that the most popular bet is for crude to top $150/barrel; this would mark a historic high and would be near levels not seen since the recession began. This article, by Asjylyn Loder, outlines the jump in calls and options on $150 oil and why so many are hopping in on this trend.
Exxon Declares Gas King at The Wall Street Journal:
Exxon Mobil has long been one of the biggest names in the oil industry. In fact, until recently, Exxon was the outright largest company in the world by market cap (a spot that is now being heavily competed for by Apple). A recent outlook from Exxon declared that natural gas will displace coal as the leading fuel for energy in the U.S. and will also be the number 2 fuel source for the entire world. The study also showed that natural gas demand will rise by 30% over the next 30 years. This article, by Tom Flower, outlines Exxon’s big plans for the future of natural gas.
Three Commodities Dividend Lovers Must Own at CommodityHQ:
Income investing has been one of the most popular strategies over the past few years, as investors have found that a consistent income stream can be one of the most powerful tools for a portfolio. But there has always been something of a disconnect between commodity investing and income strategies. When most people think of commodities, they think of complex futures contracts or exchange traded products that have nasty contango tendencies. This article outlines a number of commodity-based investments that also offer dividend yields to help income investors add necessary commodity exposure without sacrificing their investment principles.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.