Rising Global PMIs Could Signal Higher Commodity Demand

The recent uptick in purchasing managers’ indexes in both China and the developed world has led to some optimism that a rebound in commodity demand and prices is just around the corner.

This view is largely based on previous experiences of rising PMIs being accompanied by stronger consumption of natural resources, and both data evidence and logic support the historical argument.

However, like the legal disclaimers that accompany investment brochures, it’s worth noting that past performance is not always a reliable indicator of future outcomes.

The positive case is that the global PMI for October accelerated to 51.4 from September’s 50.7, the strongest monthly gain in nearly two years. October’s reading was also the first timer since March that the global PMI had moved above its three-month moving average.

Frank Holmes, the chief executive of fund manager U.S. Global Investors, said in an article published Nov. 9 that this is an indicator he watches “very closely because in the past it has reliably anticipated how commodity prices might behave in later months.”

“Our own research shows that when a PMI ‘cross-above’ occurs … it has signaled a possible spike in certain commodities, materials and energy,” Holmes said.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza