An event several years in the making could be just days away. For some time now, the Fed has been debating whether or not it should limit big banks and their participation in the commodities markets. The debate stemmed from a number of accusations of market manipulation for profit, though most of the institutions on the chopping block have maintained their innocence. The decision is expected to fall sometime in the next month and could be a welcomed change for traders [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Since the financial crisis of 2008, Wall Street has undeniably morphed into something that is perhaps unrecognizable to everyday investors and traders. With government regulators attempting to keep a closer eye on the actions of market makers, big banks, and the Street’s heaviest hitters, these institutions have found that some of their most profitable strategies have started to unravel [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As it is with every quarter, one of the biggest names in the commodities world is set to kick off the Q2 2013 earnings season early next week. Aluminum giant Alcoa (AA) is slated to announce its latest earnings report this Monday, July 8, after the closing bell. As Alcoa is not only one of the largest mining firms in the U.S., but also the one of the first major firms to report its earnings each quarter, the company often sets the tone for industry expectations [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
When you sit down for a cold beer, you probably don’t think of all of the factors that culminated to create the product. What’s more, you probably never consider the fact that the London Metal Exchange (LME) could have such a marked impact on the frosty beverage. But traders utilizing the LME to purchase aluminum for beer cans have recently reiterated issues that the exchange is causing, putting beer prices in a pinch [for more aluminum news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
One of the biggest names in aluminum production and exploration, Pittsburgh based Alcoa (AA) is one of the best known firms in the commodity world. The company operates in over thirty countries and is only rivaled in size by international firms Rio Tinto (RIO) and Rusal. Falling prey to a struggling industrial sector, Alcoa and many other mining corporations have been feeling the pressure since the recession began in late 2008. With their first quarter earnings report coming up on Monday, all eyes will be fixated on the materials giant [for more metals news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
With the Dow hitting all-time highs again, it’s worth looking back at the Dow Jones in 2007 and examining what has changed. In the intervening time, it has been a wild ride for commodities. Commodity prices soared in 2008 and 2009 as China rapidly industrialized, with oil moving from about $50 per barrel to over $145 per barrel and copper jumping from about $2.70 per pound to over $4.20 per pound [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Russia may be the ninth largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product, but its abundance of natural resources in the Ural Mountains, Siberia and the Russian Far East makes it much more important in the world of commodities. The emerging market has long been known for its vast production of some of the most vital commodities in the world. Below, we dissect Russia’s commodity industry to give investors an in-depth look at this BRIC nation [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Due to better governance practices and a commodity boom, Brazil’s economy has enjoyed incredible growth over the past 20 years. Brazil is now the largest economy in Latin America and the sixth or seventh largest economy depending upon the metric used. On the other hand, while Brazil’s GDP per capita has improved, it still ranks at a relatively low 64th in the world – meaning that it is a large economy, but not an especially wealthy one yet (at least not uniformly so). While Brazil has made a concerted effort to build up its manufacturing sector (and reduce the risk of being trapped as a commodity-driven economy), minerals, energy and agriculture are still very significant to the Brazilian economy, as well as the larger global economy [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As 2012 draws to an end, investors are taking time to reflect on some of the best and worst performing commodities of the year. Though the year’s headlines have been dominated by energy and precious metals, there are a number of assets that have flown relatively under the radar. Industrial metals are among the most practical commodities on the market given their wide use in our everyday lives, but they rarely receive attention over something like gold or oil. Below, we outline the performances of some of the biggest industrial metals for 2012 [for more industrial metal news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The introduction of commodity ETFs brought trading to a whole new level, as your average retail investor now has the opportunity to trade something like natural gas futures through a single ticker. As the years have gone on, a number of these products have grown to be some of the most widely-used financial instruments for their respective commodity. One advantage to ETFs, however, is that liquidity is not hindered by average volume due the the creation process. Instead, there will just be some funds that are more liquid and tradable than others [for more commodity ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].