Key To Commodities


The current monetary policy generated by Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke has given a large boost to global commodities markets. The falling U.S. dollar has helped boost precious metals such as gold and silver to near-record levels.

After testifying before Congress on Tuesday, gold rose over $22 to hit $1748 an ounce while silver rose 48 cents to climb to $34.24 an ounce. Other commodities including agriculture and softs have continued to climb since Bernanke’s first round of quantitative easing in 2008.

As such, the timing has proven valuable for Switzerland-based commodities juggernaut Glencore International. The firm, which is one of the world’s largest traders of physical commodities, has initiated a bid for mining company Xstrata in an all share offer worth $41 billion. Should the deal clear regulatory hurdles, it will be one of the biggest takeovers related to commodities.

The deal would combine the synergies of Glencore’s trading expertise along with the coal and metal mining operations of Xstrata. Glencore could easily benefit from commercial hedging operations as large cap companies such as Coca-Cola predict large price increases in raw commodities in 2012. The S&P GSCI Index, which tracks performance of 24 different commodities, is up 3.45% year-to-date already.

The consensus among traders and investors appears to be that the dollar will continue to decline and commodities will continue to perform beyond expectations, much to the delight of CTAs.

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