CME Group Featured Commodity Market News Reports

CME Group compiled commodity news reports and global headlines. 

This futures market newsfeed includes prominant global commodity stories, as well as CME Group commodity research and studies.

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  1. Since they hit bottom in early 2009, the S&P 500® and the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Corporate High Yield Index have been on a roll.  Both are up over 200% from the depths of the financial crisis (Figure 1).

  2. Off The Charts! examines the pertinent economic issues of the day, providing a deeper dive into complex topics and framing the issues in a way that can lead to a better understanding of the financial and commodities markets.

  3. Neighbors and rivals, China and India have the distinction of being the world’s two most populous nations.  With between 1.3-1.4 billion people each, they account for 36.5% of humanity.  The similarities largely end there.  Over the past three decades, China has become much more prosperous than India, with an economy five times larger by comparison.  While India’s 4-8% growth rate has been quite solid, it lags China’s red-hot pace, which topped 10% for much of the past few decades.

    However, this dynamic has begun to change.  Since 2015, India’s economy has begun to pull ahead of China’s (Figure 1).  The drivers of China’s economic miracle, namely, a productivity-enhancing transition from being rural to urban based, and the impressive buildup of infrastructure are past the point of diminishing marginal returns.  In addition, the country is awash in debt.  China’s total debt (public + private) has grown to levels comparable to those in Europe and North America, and this portends slower growth.

    By contrast, India’s rural-urban transition, while well under way, is much less advanced than China’s and could boost India’s productivity for many years to come.  India’s debt ratios are only half of those of China and have not been growing during the past decade (Figures 2-4).  This, too, could set the stage for many years of solid growth in India that could begin to exceed that of China as we move into the 2020s. We note, however, that short-term growth in India could lag China’s as a result of the damage to the economy from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s withdrawal of high-denomination currency notes in an effort to crack down on the country’s vast shadow economy.

    Debt levels correlate strongly with both economic growth and the level of interest rates.  Yet in both cases, the relationship tends to be a chicken-or-egg sort of problem.  Less volatile economies, which are often the slower growing ones, can support high leverage ratios. But high leverage ratios can slow economic growth.  Low interest rates can encourage credit growth and high debt ratios.  High debt ratios, in turn, necessitate low interest rates so that public and private debt burdens can be financed.

    When debt ratios are low, a country can grow by increasing leverage.  One person’s spending or investment becomes income for somebody else.  As debt levels rise, however, further borrowing serves mainly to service existing loans, and economic growth tends to slow. Eventually, interest rates will be forced down to very low levels as has happened in Japan, Europe and North America.  China is already well down this path.  India is not.

  4. Event risk provided some abrupt market turnarounds in 2016, emanating from political processes such as the “Brexit” referendum and U.S. elections.  This year is shaping up with the potential for even more turbulence from event risk – and not just from politics, but possibly from changing patterns in economic data and even the weather.

  5. Off The Charts! examines the pertinent economic issues of the day, providing a deeper dive into complex topics and framing the issues in a way that can lead to a better understanding of the financial and commodities markets.

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