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Investors counting on a softer global economy to pull commodity prices lower may instead be faced with scare supplies and inflation, as the market is awash in contradictions, Goldman Sachs has warned clients.
“Today, commodity markets appear to hold irrational expectations, as prices and inventories fall together, demand beats expectations and supply disappoints,” wrote Goldman’s head of commodities research Jeffrey Currie and his team, in a note that published late Thursday.
They note the commodity space has moved from hoarding to destocking, with consumers using up inventory at higher prices on the hopes that a broad softening of the economy will create extra supply.
“Yet should this prove incorrect and excess supply does not materialize as we expect, the restocking scramble would exacerbate scarcity, pushing prices substantially higher this autumn, potentially forcing central banks to generate a more protracted contraction to balance commodity markets,” said Currie.
Financial markets are now pricing in a soft economic landing outcome, minimal further interest rate hikes, sufficient growth to keep earnings supported into 2023 and dissipating inflation. Evidence of the latter emerged this week as both U.S. consumer and producer price inflation missed expectations, driving hopes that the Federal Reserve may be able to ease up on policy tightening sooner than later.
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