If there is one brokerage and investment banking firm whose views can influence investors’ decisions about issues large and small, Goldman Sachs likely fits that bill. After all, its focus is on the top money management institutions and on the wealthiest investors in the world. After a serious rut, now the Goldman Sachs Commodities Research is telling customers that it’s time to buy commodities.
It is important to understand that the latest call from Goldman Sachs is one in which the firm remains bullish rather than changing its direction. That said, this holiday-chopped week may have created a situation in which some momentum can continue from the call. The long and short of the matter is that Goldman Sachs views the recent weakness in commodities as a buying opportunity.
Goldman Sachs has maintained an Overweight recommendation on commodities. The firm even views 12-month returns for the S&P/Goldman Sachs Commodity Index coming in about 10% ahead.
Aren’t trade wars and tariffs a killer for the metals and other commodities? Isn’t it bad if China wants to retaliate against some of the key U.S. industries? According to Goldman Sachs, that should be more than reflected in the current prices. The firm still sees strong demand growth in commodities. Also noted were issues around supply disruptions and depleting inventory levels in the metals and energy markets.
What the firm is really suggesting is that many of the commodities have become oversold. Those concerns about weaker demand from emerging markets and the looming trade war have more than adequately been priced into the recent weakness. Even the concerns about China’s slowing growth and regulatory changes were noted as being priced in, with the actual impact of trade tensions to be far smaller than the markets and media have indicated.
Still, Goldman Sachs does have some areas of concern. Soybeans were one, and auto tariffs (if actually implemented) were another concern over the demand for metals.
With the relationship between commodity prices and the dollar often being front and center, Goldman Sachs is now projecting that the mighty U.S. dollar will weaken. Furthermore, policy easing and more stable demand out of China in the second half of 2018 should offer support for metals demand after recent price weakness.
Oil is an area in which Goldman Sachs is bullish as well. The production is likely to remain lower than demand during 2018, even if higher production comes from OPEC. There is also the rising risk of supply shocks that could boost prices higher. The risks point to oil inventories running at very low levels as well.
24/7 Wall St. has looked at the views for several key equities and several exchange traded funds (and exchange traded products) to show just how much the selling pressure has been in some of the key commodities. These are of course measured in U.S. dollars.
The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEARCA: OIH) was last seen up just eight cents at $25.84, in a 52-week trading range of $21.70 to $29.87. This key oil services ETF is still down more than $2.00 since June 7 and remains very close to a one-month low.
The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA: GLD) was last seen trading up $0.60 at $119.25, in a 52-week range of $114.80 to $129.51. On June 14, the key gold trust, the largest of its kind by far, was almost up at $124.
The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDX), which tracks the major gold miners, has actually just hit a one-month high after a 1.1% gain on Thursday morning. Still, it is close to down 10% from a year ago. Trading at $22.72, its 52-week range is $20.84 to $25.58.
The iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA: SLV) has remained volatile as the trust tracks the price of silver. It turns out there is a reason we have referred to silver as the devil’s metal for years. The silver trust was last seen up eight cents at $15.11, while the 52-week range is $14.44 to $17.14. To prove the devil’s metal name: this trust is still only up about 1% from its one-month low and remains down 6.5% from its trading peak in June.
Bunge Ltd. (NYSE: BG) has often been considered a global proxy for the price and trade issues around soybeans. Its shares were actually down 14 cents at $67.85 late Thursday morning (after opening up at $68.10). The 52-week range is $63.87 to $83.20, and the consensus target price is $86.70. That consensus target seems quite generous considering the major price slide that has been seen since February.
Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE) was last seen trading up 1.8% at $62.67, but this was a $68 stock as recently as June 18. It is a top steel player and was supposed to be one of the would-be Trump steel tariff winners. Its 52-week range is $51.67 to $70.48, and the consensus target price is $77.70.
Century Aluminum Co. (NASDAQ: CENX) was last seen up 16 cents at $14.97, but its 52-week range is $12.94 to $24.77. Its shares have a consensus analyst target of $22.80, and this traded at nearly $18 at the start of June.
As a reminder: new Dow and S&P 500 analyst picks generally come with total return upside projections of 8% or so at this stage of the bull market. This call for commodities was 10% higher, and it is effectively a reiterated Buy rating call on an asset class after a big sell-off.