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Inflation’s back and commodities will benefit, JPMorgan says

Metals show ‘best performance’ when inflation quickens to 2%.

Inflation’s back and raw materials stand to benefit, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co, which has raised price forecasts for metals.

“Inflation has come and it should be good for commodities,” the bank said in a report received on Wednesday. Among signs of the shift, JPMorgan cited stronger US wage numbers as well as recent core consumer price inflation.

Commodities rallied to the highest in more than two years in January, and heading into 2018 banks including Goldman Sachs Group remain positive. JPMorgan said raw materials tend to do well in the late stage of the economic cycle, echoing remarks from billionaire bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach. Glencore also touched on the outlook for “emerging inflation” as a positive for commodities as the trader reported record earnings on Wednesday. Inflation, JPMorgan

“Rising inflation is beneficial for commodities,” JPMorgan said. “In fact, metals, both base and precious, exhibit their best performance (both outright and volatility-adjusted) when inflation has reached the Fed’s 2% target and continues rising,” it said, referring to the Federal Reserve.

Bets on gains in precious metals, copper, zinc and nickel will probably result in the highest returns over one year, the bank said. Assuming the present cycle will stretch beyond 2018, the current expansion is just beginning one of the strongest periods for metals prices broadly, it said.

JPMorgan expects copper to average $7 405 a metric ton this year, with its quarterly forecasts rising through 2018, according to the note. Three-month copper was last at $7 048 a ton on the London Metal Exchange.

In its report, Glencore said “the potential of synchronised global economic growth, emerging inflation, supportive commodity fundamentals and the emerging electric-vehicle story suggest a positive outlook for commodities.”

© 2018 Bloomberg

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