One of the most underreported sentiment shifts of the past week was JPM's announcement late on Friday, that the firm quietly went long commodities - specifically base metals and copper (in addition to energy) - and the firm also closed it "sell" (i.e., underweight) in precious metals. This is not surprising: we had noted the ongoing purchasing of gold by JPM over the past two month (in part to restore its depleted gold vault inventory) when the yellow metal not only stabilized but promptly entered a bull market, returning 20% in a short period of time. And as gold was rising, JPM was advising its clients to sell. It seems JPM now has more than enough gold stashed away, and as the September shock is set to unwind, even JPM may be seeking the safety of gold, and the usual other hard asset suspects, if and when events escalate out of control, resulting in another "risk off" phase.
"Commodities: We have turned tactically long commodities and OW vs. cash and fixed income.
The strong rebound in J.P. Morgan’s global manufacturing PMI, improving physical demand and our economists’ first upgrade of Chinese growth expectations since February make us turn tactically overweight. This is especially important for base metals and copper in particular given China’s very large share of global metal demand and thus, we go overweight base metals and copper in addition to our longstanding energy overweight. We also close our underweight in precious metals given positive momentum, cleaner positions and the impending start to the debt ceiling negotiations. In our commodities portfolio, this leaves us OW energy and base metals, neutral precious metals and UW agriculture, where high prices coupled with better weather conditions compared to last year have led to a large increase in supply expectations."