Commodities fell to the lowest level in more than five years on signs demand growth is weakening in China, the biggest consumer of energy and metals, and on speculation U.S. borrowing costs may rise next year.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index of 22 futures dropped as much as 0.4 percent to 120.7641, the lowest since July 2009, before trading at 121.1555 at 10:04 a.m. in New York. The gauge has lost 3.7 percent in 2014 and is set for a fourth year of decline. Brent crude fell to the lowest in more than two years as corn and soybeans traded near 2010 lows.
China’s economy will expand 7.2 percent this year from an earlier estimate of 7.6 percent, according to Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. Industrial output growth in August was the weakest since the global financial crisis, data showed at the weekend. The Federal Reserve starts a two-day meeting tomorrow where it will consider the timing of rate increases after its bond-buying program ends this year. The Bloomberg Dollar Index rose 1.2 percent last week on speculation rates will rise.
“China is a challenge at the moment,” Dominic Schnider, head of commodity research at UBS AG’s wealth management unit in Singapore, said by phone today. “The dollar is going to be on the strong side and that’s a burden to commodities.”
Brent for October settlement, which expires today, fell as much as 0.9 percent to $96.21 a barrel, the lowest since July 2012, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange before trading at $96.95.
“There are some issues in terms of economic developments that keep our focus to the downside” for China’s oil demand growth, David Wech, an analyst at consultants JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna, said in an e-mailed report.
Corn for December delivery fell as much as 1 percent to $3.3575 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, matching the lowest level for the most-active contract since 2010, before trading at $3.385. Soybeans for November dropped as much as 1.1 percent to $9.7425 before trading at $9.8275.
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