Natural resources, once unpopular with investors, have made a comeback in early 2014, beating out other asset classes, said Deutsche Bank AG (FRA:DBK) in a Friday note.
“The majority of commodity indices are now posting positive returns since the end of last year,” wrote London-based strategists for the German global bank. “Commodities have moved to the top of the league table in terms of asset class performance.”
“Strength has been across the board over the past week with energy and metals the strongest performers,” they wrote.
That performance is relative to fixed income, currencies, emerging market equities and global equity indices. Gold has done especially well in the past several weeks, rising to highs of $1,300 per ounce not seen since November 2013, after a year that saw severe slumps in price and investor sentiment.
That doesn’t mean returns will last. The analysts are bearish on most commodity sectors, including energy, precious metals and agricultural products.
Nonetheless, the picture is a little more heartening than commodities markets from 2013. By the end of 2013, commodities earned a reputation as the worst-performing assets in terms of returns, as the benchmark Dow Jones UBS commodities index fell 9.6 percent over the year.
“The first six weeks of 2014 have been relatively kind to commodities compared to the losses suffered on benchmark equity and EM indices,” wrote the Deutsche Bank analysts.
Stock markets have slowed in early 2014, after a heady 2013 where stocks repeatedly broke records on signs of a recovery in developed economies.