As 2013 draws to an end, we take a moment to reflect on the happenings in the commodity world from this past year. All-in-all, it was a tough year for a number of hard assets, as the S&P GSCI Commodity Index struggled to find any momentum, losing approximately 2% for the year. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has jumped more than 26%, as equities have dominated throughout the year. While the story has been grim for some, there are a handful of commodities that have been able to turn in a solid performance in 2013 [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
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].
A positive GDP number out of China influences commodities today. I think today was an overreaction, but a good sign medium and longer term. Crude picked up 1% today and has quickly pulled away from the very critical $100 mark with prices approaching $104/barrel. I maintain that if we stay below $104 on a settlement basis going into the weekend we will see a sub $100 trade next week. My target remains 97.50 in May futures. I believe, today, the case was the strength in the distillates lifted Crude.
The agriculture sector has long been a popular place for commodity trading. After all, it was with agricultural futures that commodity trading got its start. Farmers had originally used these contracts to help offset any losses in crop yields. Now, the agricultural space has blossomed into a market chock full of options for investors, but many investors are still unaware of the vast opportunities that this sector offers [see also Invest Like Jim Rogers With These Three Agriculture Stocks]. No matter what kind of investor you are, there is certainly an agriculture/agribusiness option that fits your investment style. Below, we outline 50 ways to invest in agriculture to help investors pick the correct security for their portfolio:
Daily Commodity Roundup: Sugar Continues Slide On Brazilian Crop, Orange Juice Rises On Florida Weather
American markets tumbled in Thursday trading as the second day of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony weighed on U.S. equities. In the report, Bernanke seemed to quell any notion of stimulus in the near future, suggesting that the economic situation will have to deteriorate further if another round of QE is in the cards. Industrial goods, services, and tech were all big losers on the day while health care and consumer companies managed to rise above the overall market to close the session. In international markets, Asia started the day mixed as Chinese and Indian benchmarks rose, but Australia and Japan both fell, leaving the region pretty much flat overall. European markets, however, were down across the board as pretty much all the benchmarks on the continent lost about 1% in the day’s trading.