After shunning gold and wheat for most of last year, hedge fund managers are piling back in as the escalating crisis in Ukraine spurs a rebound in the prices of both commodities.
Speculators have the biggest bet on a gold rally since December 2012 and turned bullish on wheat for the first time since November, government data show. Bullion last week reached a six-month high and wheat entered a bull market as Crimea prepared for a referendum. A majority in the disputed vote March 16 chose to leave Ukraine and join Russia, exit polls showed.
Global equities erased this year’s gains last week as the turmoil in Ukraine escalated and the U.S. and the European Union discussed sanctions against Russia, poised to be this season’s fifth-biggest wheat exporter. Investors who rejected gold in 2013 are now buying the metal at the fastest pace since 2007, surprising bearish forecasters including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Investors also bought more coffee, sugar and corn.