Fed stimulus fading as forecasters say best is over

Oil Inventories

While the Paris-based International Energy Agency anticipates record demand for oil in 2013, it said in a monthly report Sept. 12 that inventories have become “more comfortable.” Natural-gas futures tumbled 27 percent in the past year in New York as production in the U.S., the biggest producer and consumer, advanced to a record.

Gold will probably be among the biggest winners from quantitative easing, say JPMorgan Chase & Co., Standard Bank Group and Credit Suisse Group AG. Some investors buy bullion as a hedge against inflation and a weaker dollar. The metal, which reached a six-month high of $1,779.50 an ounce yesterday, will advance to a record $2,400 by the end of 2014, assuming the stimulus lasts until then, Bank of America Corp. said.

‘More Attractive’

“We view owning commodities and gold in particular as more attractive post the QE3 announcement,” said Walter “Bucky” Hellwig, who helps manage $17 billion at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama. “While the QE is there, it does keep the bid under commodities prices and gives them an opportunity to continue to move higher even with a sluggish economy.”

Central-bank action should boost prices across precious and industrial metals, JPMorgan said in a report Sept. 14, citing a probable decline in the dollar. Gold, silver, Brent crude oil and aluminum will probably rally more than other commodities, Standard Bank said in a Sept. 17 report.

The Fed will buy $40 billion of mortgage debt a month and hold the benchmark interest rate near zero through at least mid-2015. The ECB held its benchmark rate at a record low of 0.75 percent and said its program will target government bonds with maturities of one to three years. The Bank of Japan unexpectedly expanded its asset-purchase fund by 10 trillion yen ($126 billion) on Sept. 19. More than two-dozen nations cut market interest rates this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The S&P GSCI in one year may be at 720 points, or about 10 percent higher than now, according to the Bloomberg survey. The International Monetary Fund expects global growth to accelerate to 3.9 percent next year, from 3.5 percent in 2012.

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