Though taper talks have dominated the headlines in recent months, investors are once again turning their attention to Washington as Congress struggles to come to a bi-partisan budget agreement. On Tuesday, the U.S. federal government officially shut down after Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on a fiscal budget. And though the government has stressed that all “essential” operations would continue, investors are already feeling the impacts of the shutdown [for more commodity futures news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Like just about every other asset class, agricultural commodities have been on a wild ride over the last several trading sessions, fluctuating along with equity markets as investors have tried to evaluate the latest news out of Europe. The last week has generally been a strong stretch for agricultural and soft commodities, as a rally in stock markets and return to risky assets has created a wave of moderate optimism among investors. The following table shows the performance of several popular commodity exchange-traded products for the week ended November 8. It should be noted that each of the funds included below utilizes futures contracts to achieve its stated objectives; as such, returns may not be reflective of changes in spot prices: