Commodities at Risk on Federal Reserve Stimulus

All eyes are on the Federal Reserve monetary policy announcement as global economic growth concerns retake the spotlight from fears of a sudden rupture in the euro zone after the weekend’s pro-bailout outcome to the Greek general election. With Europe expected to sink into recession while Asia sees its slowest growth since 2009 this year (according to a survey of economists polled by Bloomberg), traders are looking to the US to offer a counterbalance.

With US Treasury yields already near record lows, the likelihood that more QE can generate a substantial increase in lending seems implausible. Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke has explicitly said it would be “very reckless” to seek a pickup in economic activity at the expense of higher inflation, meaning a QE3 program that amounts to little more than a confidence-building exercise is unlikely.

Still, US economic data has increasingly underperformed over the past two months, meaning a reboot of the so-called "Operation Twist" – a scheme meant to target a reduction in long-term borrowing costs in place since late September – and perhaps another extension of the time period within which rates are pledged to be kept low seems appropriate.

On balance, this would amount to a reinstatement of the status quo considering Operation Twist is due to expire this month. With markets pining for accommodation, this is likely to disappoint investors and drive risk aversion, sinking growth-geared copper and crude oil prices. Gold and silver are also vulnerable amid receding demand for precious metals as a store-of-value hedge against dilution of paper currencies.

Comex E-Mini Copper (NY Close): $3.434 // +0.038 // +1.12%

Prices took out resistance at 3.384, the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement, with the bulls now aiming to challenge the 38.2% Fib at 3.474. The 23.6%retracement has been recast as near-term support, with a break below that


WTI Crude Oil (NY Close): $84.03 // +0.76 // +0.91%

Prices continue to tread water between the 23.6% Fibonacci expansion at 81.07 and the June 7 high at the 87.00 figure. A break higher initially exposes 90.14. Alternatively, a push through support targets the 38.2% expansion at 77.34.


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