“The strength that we saw in the last two years is not there anymore,” Michael Widmer, a commodities strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told the WSJ. “Large parts of the global economy are now in a challenging environment.”
Widmer projects commodity prices will continue to weaken in the first half of 2019 before regaining a foothold in the second half of the year when he projects China to enact a limited stimulus package.
Furthermore, a strengthening U.S. dollar has pressured prices on USD-denominated commodities, which have grown more expensive to foreign buyers and investors. The U.S. dollar has been appreciating on the outlook for higher U.S. interest rates and the staying power of the U.S. economy among its international peers.
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