The consumer price index climbed 0.3 percent last month, after rising 0.1 percent in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was the biggest rise since January, and it was mainly caused by an impressive surge in the fuel oil (+3.7 percent) and gasoline indices (+3 percent). However, the core CPI, which excludes food and energy, also rose, advancing 0.2 percent in October, following a 0.1-percent increase in September.
The 21st century ushered in the era of online trading. Soon electronic marketplaces replaced physical trading floors. These developments may have had the biggest impact on commodities futures markets since commodities trading became available to millions of people around the globe. Today dozens of countries around the world operate commodities futures exchanges.
In 1944, my good friend, the late Nobelist Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992), published the Road to Serfdom. It immediately became an international sensation. In it, Hayek argued that government interventions into markets, whether they be via regulatory mandates or the outright taking of private property, will lead to an initial failure. In short, they will be counterproductive. In an attempt to correct its initial errors, the government then does more of the same, only in greater detail. Further disappointments will lead to still more far-reaching and detailed interventionist measures, until socialism and a state of total tyranny are reached.
Lawrence Pines is a Princeton University graduate with more than 25 years of experience as an equity and foreign exchange options trader for multinational banks and proprietary trading groups. Mr. Pines has traded on the NYSE, CBOE and Pacific Stock Exchange. In 2011, Mr. Pines started his own consulting firm through which he advises law firms and investment professionals on issues related to trading, and derivatives. Lawrence has served as an expert witness in a number of high profile trials in US Federal and international courts.
Futures are a derivative product that allows traders to gain exposure to commodity prices without physically taking possession of the asset. With these contracts, traders agree to purchase a certain amount of a commodity at a date in the future (the expiration date). The trader pays for the contract at the time of purchase. If prices rise between the purchase date and the expiration date, the trader will profit, whereas if prices fall, the trader will lose money.
I re-ran the simulation and accounted for transaction fees of $20 per trade. I also factored in slippage of 0.50% because buying large positions over a short period of time will drive prices up and cause slippage. This resulted in a 5-year annualized return of 18.9% with a max drawdown of 38.4%, and 45% of the trades were winners. But perhaps most importantly, there was a massive turnover of stocks to the tune of 400% per year, which would result in hefty fees and require a significant time investment.
Another common tactic during periods of market volatility and uncertainty is to park long-term assets in cash investments. While waiting on the sidelines can sometimes seem the prudent strategy, it comes at a cost. CDs and money market accounts may be less volatile than stocks and bonds, but they also offer little opportunity for growth and income.
It was out of a need to account for such volatility that the Revised FED Model was created. This model essentially adds projected earnings to the analysis. In other words, if stock market earnings are expected to rise over the next year, then the FED Model is dependable and investors can simply compare earnings yields between bonds and stocks. But if stock market earnings are predicted to decline, then this strategy is ineffective. By accounting for projected earnings, the Revised Fed Model creates a more reliable method of investing.
Since there are a glut of fundamental and technical indicators available – many of which conflict – which do you follow? In other words, how do you react when the employment rate is dropping, but stocks rise to new highs on increased earnings? Should you buy when stocks are well below historical price-to-earnings ratios despite high volume selling? For every report and survey suggesting one direction, there is usually a contradicting indicator that suggests the opposite.
Retail inflation, released after market hours on Wednesday, fell below the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target in August, increasing the likelihood it will keep interest rates on hold in October after raising them at its past two meetings. Consumer prices rose 3.69% from a year earlier, down from July’s 4.17%, the Statistics Ministry said on Wednesday. August was the first month in 10 in which retail inflation was below the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4%.
Fast-growing countries such as India and China are accumulating vast amounts of wealth as their economies grow. As a result, they have a growing need for a variety of basic goods and raw materials such as crops and livestock to feed their people, metals to build the infrastructure in their cities and energy to fuel their factories, homes and farms. Demand from emerging markets has a huge impact on commodity prices. Signs of economic slowdown in these countries can depress prices, while surging economic growth can cause commodity prices to rise.
The idea of trading prices, as opposed to physical goods, eventually made its way to other markets. In 1981, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) launched the first cash-settled futures contract on the Eurodollar. Essentially, upon expiration of a cash-settled futures contract, the seller of the contact does not physically deliver the underlying asset but instead transfers the associated cash position. Once the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved the Eurodollar futures contract, exchanges began listing cash-settled futures contracts on traditional commodities.
MCX offers an extensive range of products, which can be clubbed into 4 categories: bullion, base metals, energy and agricultural commodities. The bullion category includes silver, gold, silver mini, silver 1000, gold mini, gold metal, gold guinea etc. The category of base metals includes zinc, nickel, aluminum, brass, lead, nickel mini, zinc mini and nickel mini. The energy section includes natural gas, unrefined oil and crude oil mini. Finally, the agricultural commodities provided by MCX include mentha oil, cotton, black pepper, cardamom and crude-palm oil.
The recent upswing in NG prices has been an incredible trade for many, yet we believe a top is now forming in Natural Gas that could catch many traders by surprise. The recent upside gap in price and upward price volatility would normally not concern long traders. They would likely view this as a tremendous success for their long NG positions, yet we believe this move is about to come to a dramatic end – fairly quickly.
As the world’s reserve currency, the dollar can often dictate the direction of commodity prices. When the value of the dollar drops against other currencies, it takes more dollars to purchase commodities than it does when the price is high. Put another way, sellers of commodities get fewer dollars for their product when the dollar is strong and more dollars when the currency is weak. Factors such as weak employment or GDP numbers in the United States can weaken the dollar and lead to higher commodity prices, while strong economic numbers can weaken commodity prices.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Friday allowed domestic stock exchanges to extend equity derivatives trading till 11.55 pm, in a move aimed at attracting investors dealing in Indian products on overseas exchanges in Singapore and Dubai. The new timings will also help in better alignment with commodity markets — amid implementation of universal exchanges — which function till 11:55 pm.