Contango is a natural phenomenon in the world of commodity futures. Some view it as an evil that plagues the space, but in reality it is just another pattern that traders can profit from. Contango, simply put, is the process by which futures contracts get more expensive as the maturity dates get further out from spot. While this can hurt a long-term position, savvy traders can use this uphill curve to their advantage. Below, we outline several commodities exhibiting contango to help you make the best trading decisions for your portfolio [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
After the U.S. narrowly avoided the fiscal cliff as 2013 began, many had hoped that the debt ceiling issues would be resolved. But as of the open of 2013, the country stares at a debt pile of more than $16.4 trillion–higher than total GDP. This has led to all sorts of unconventional theories and schemes for getting ourselves out of debt, one of which involves the minting of one or several trillion dollar coins made of platinum [for more platinum news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Contango for commodity traders is as inevitable a phenomenon as taxes; eventually you will come face-to-face with an upward sloping futures curve. In many cases, this simply presents an opportunity to make a play on the respective asset or possibly to re-position current holdings. Contango is most often caused by the storage costs associated with keeping large quantities of commodities in a designated area for a period of time, but it can also reflect market expectations of how a commodity’s price will move. Below, we outline several commodities currently exhibiting contango [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Another year has come to an end, and another 12-month stretch of frantic commodity trading can go in the books. As is par for the course, this year saw a number of big movers throughout the space, as these assets maintained their reputation for general volatility. This year saw its share of winners and losers, as a number of macroeconomic factors combined to guide the commodity space to the finish line. Below, we outline the five commodities that outperformed their competition in 2012 [for more commodity 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].
As 2012 nears its close, investors are beginning to look toward a new year, one that will hopefully be less volatile for the commodity world. The precious metals world, in particular, saw a fair amount of volatility through out the past year as this elite group of four has rarely had a quiet period. With the approaching fiscal cliff and economic uncertainty fresh in the minds of many, predicting where these commodities will end up next year has become a hobby of analysts all across the market [for more precious metals news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As is typical for the commodity world, all eyes have been fixated on gold in recent months. The precious metal has been under a microscope since the announcement of QE3 and the impending fiscal cliff. Some have called for gold to surge to new historical highs, while others are not quite so sure. But one thing is certain, gold is getting handsomely outperformed by all three of its precious metal counterparts in recent weeks, as the safe haven metal has failed to keep pace as of late [for more precious metals news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Joining the likes of Jim Rogers and George Soros, PIMCO has now thrown its hat into the hard asset ring. As the economic outlook for the U.S. has continually grown more and more bleak, we have seen a number of investors and experts hop on the commodities train as the best way to protect yourself from coming inflation. In PIMCO’s most recent economic outlook, the firm commented on the current state of the markets, the impact of QE3, and trends they see developing in the coming years, one of which was inflation [for more economic news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As traders try to make their way through the volatile and often dangerous world of commodities, the futures curve is one of the most important aspects to focus on. Many traders look for contangoed curves to either make savvy trades or avoid potential blunders for their portfolio. Contango, the process by which near month futures are cheaper than those expiring further into the future, is often caused by storage costs of hard assets, but can also be a reflection of future price expectations. In this iteration of our contango report, we focus on three key metals for investors to keep an eye on [for more information on commodities in contango subscribe to our free newsletter].
Investors and analysts have a wide variety of different ratios that they focus on to get a better read on the market. Some like to look toward the S&P 500/gold ratio while others find solace in P/E figures. However, there is one lesser-known metric that has its roots firmly planted in the commodity world. The platinum/gold ratio is a precious metals combination that many use to gauge how markets are performing. While it may sound a bit unorthodox at first, there is sound reasoning behind watching this comparative metric [for more precious metals news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].