Exchange-traded commodities register a third weekly increase

May 8, 2015- Weekly Pricing Pulse

The IHS Markit Materials Price Index (MPI) was flat last week, as softness in chemical markets outweighed a broad-based upward move across exchange-traded commodities. Oil, rubber, iron ore, and nonferrous metals all saw meaningful gains.

Nickel (up 7.1%) and zinc (up 4.6%) prices led the increase in nonferrous metals, although aluminum, copper, lead, and tin also saw gains on the week. The move pushed the nonferrous metals basket into positive territory for the year. The US dollar has continued to unwind following an eight-month surge, lending support to exchange-traded commodities priced in the currency.

The release last week of the latest set of manufacturing PMI reports were mostly disappointing, with emerging markets and commodity exporters disproportionately below the neutral mark. Chinese data continue to point to a slowdown, leading to speculation that the central bank may unveil more unconventional stimuli going forward. While a handful of commodities have shown signs of bottoming as the month came to a close, April marks a ninth consecutive monthly decline for the MPI. It is difficult to see a sustained rally emerging without a fundamental change in demand.

IHS Markit Materials Price Index

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