Demand Risk if Keeping Commodities Down, But Will it Last?

With oil plummeting the way it has been on fears of lessened demand due to the coronavirus outbreak and the Saudi Arabia-Russia price war, it can be a slippery slope when it comes to investing in commodities.

Right now, the U.S., in addition to solving its own issues regarding coronavirus, is attempting to play peacemaker between the two nations. According to a recent CNBC report, in “a statement released by the U.S. State Department Wednesday, a spokesperson confirmed that Secretary Mike Pompeo had spoken with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday.

“Secretary Pompeo and the Crown Prince focused on the need to maintain stability in global energy markets amid the worldwide response,” the statement said.

“The Secretary stressed that as a leader of the G-20 and an important energy leader, Saudi Arabia has a real opportunity to rise to the occasion and reassure global energy and financial markets when the world faces serious economic uncertainty,” it added.

Commodities give investors exposure to uncorrelated assets, but lately, it seems like all assets have been heading downward thanks to the coronavirus outbreak. While federal governments and central banks are scrambling to shore up their economies, commodities is still a plausible play for diversification despite the challenges.

“Overall, commodities markets continue to stare at challenging times,” a MoneyControl article stated. “The longer it takes to control the virus, the greater will be the demand impact, however, it is unlikely that supply may remain unaffected. In such a scenario, it is likely that we may see some stability in commodities with tighter supply.

Looking at the price of Brent crude, it’s fallen 64% from its highs year-to-date:

Brent Crude Oil Spot Price Chart

Brent Crude Oil Spot Price data by YCharts

For investors who can’t stand the kind of queasy volatility that has been going on in the markets as of late, it may help to get less concentrated exposure to oil, but still, get diversification via commodities through the WisdomTree Continuous Commodity Index Fund (GCC).

GCC seeks to reflect the performance of the index, over time, less the expenses of the fund and the master fund’s overall operations. The master fund invests in a portfolio of index commodities, as well as holding cash and United States Treasury securities and other high credit quality short-term fixed income securities for deposit with the master fund’s Commodity Broker as margin.

The Continuous Commodity Total Return Index is a broad-based commodity index that reflects the price movement of 17 exchange-traded futures contracts. By holding cash and safe haven government debt, investors also have a safety component built-in since commodities are typically uncorrelated with equities.

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