This past year has certainly been a volatile one for the commodity space, but the majority of these assets has been able to net a positive return on the year. Lumber and soybeans led the pack, as each appreciated more than 35% for the year. But bringing up the rear are a few commodities who are no strangers to volatility and weak performances. Below, we outline the five worst performing commodities of 2012 to give investors a better idea of how the year shaped up [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Options on futures–otherwise called futures options or commodity options–may seem like a complex topic for these relatively new to derivatives and somewhat unnecessary for those with experience. But combining futures with options provides traders with a number of benefits, like the ability to hedge existing futures options, trade around the clock, or enhance leverage [for more commodity futures news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As the end of the year draws closer, tensions in Washington D.C. are starting to boil as gridlock may push us over the much-feared “fiscal cliff” and back into recession. Diminishing hopes that policymakers can strike a deal before the deadline has kept a lid on confidence while prices have remained fairly stable, which may be setting up stock markets for a disastrous open in 2013. Amid the mixed landscape, Toronto-based Sprott Asset Management rolled out a physical platinum and palladium fund on the NYSE [for more economic news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Alternative energy had another poor year, as these investments seem to fall by the wayside compared to fossil fuels. Though many agree that we need to shift our current energy consumption, it looks like new technologies are giving way to a natural gas revolution rather than an alternative energy revolution. Luckily for proponents of green technology, Barack Obama secured another four years in the White House, and he has been generally outspoken on his approval of these energy sources [for more alternative energy news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The energy sector has been anything but stable this year, as commodities as a whole suffered at the hands of volatile trading. Crude oil prices surged all across the board while popular natural gas struggled to maintain a direction. With 2012 coming to a close, we take a look back on the year and outline the best and worst performing energy ETFs. Note that this list excludes leveraged and inverse products [for more energy ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Futures markets originated as a way for producers to stabilize their income and/or raw material supply amid market fluctuations, but it soon grew into a way for speculators to bet on the direction of a given commodity. These two market forces interact to create the futures markets that we know today and each plays a critical role in the market’s dynamics [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].