Week In Review: Gold Soft, Oil, Wheat Outperform

Posted by Hard Assets Investor

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Oil and wheat outperformed, but most commodities fell this week. Stocks, as measured by the S&P 500, finished the volatile period with an overall loss of less than 1 percent. Year-to-date, the index is up 18.4 percent. 

Macroeconomic Highlights

This week’s news flow was dominated by talk of the first federal government shutdown in nearly 18 years. The shutdown has dragged on for four days and counting, after beginning on Tuesday. Traders are also getting jittery about the approaching debt-ceiling deadline, which the Treasury has said is around Oct. 17.

Most government economic releases have been delayed, including the important monthly nonfarm payrolls report that was originally scheduled for today.

However, we did see a number of private sector releases and other data from around the world. 

China’s manufacturing PMI edged up from 51 to 51.1 in September, slightly below the 51.6 that was expected. At the same time, the equivalent PMI gauge in the eurozone remained unchanged at 51.1 in September, remaining above the key 50 level for a third-straight month, while ISM said that its U.S. manufacturing index rose from 55.7 to 56.2, the strongest level since April 2011.

Meanwhile, payroll processor ADP said that private employers added 166K jobs in September, below the 180K that was expected. 

Lastly, ISM said that its nonmanufacturing composite fell from 58.6 to 54.4 in September, below the 57 that was expected.

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