Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Wall Street Journal on What's Happening in Commodities

The Journal's David Gaffen gets it and he says in under 200 words what I've taken a dozen posts to try to explain.
From MarketBeat:
...The rapid deleveraging in asset markets continued in commodity-land. When investors shun commodities that are associated with strong demand for raw goods — crude oil and metals — and do not respond by retreating to the safe haven of gold, it suggests that reducing leverage is the overriding concern. “There was a lot of leverage into this market and these funds are basically being forced to sell to meet redemptions,” says Brent Hoffman, commodity broker at MF Global. “You have to stay out of the way until these funds are done puking up their positions.” Crude oil lost 7.5% to close at a 16-month low of $66.75, while heating oil closed at its lowest level in 14 months. Wheat hit a 16-month low as well, and copper and gold were down sharply as investors sold commodities en masse. The dollar’s strength contributed, but analysts attribute the weakness more broadly to fund sales and expectations of reduced global demand. “They just want out of commodities and it’s all tied to the same thing we’re fighting with, which is worldwide concern over economics,” says Darin Newsom, senior commodities analyst at DTN in Omaha....