Global Macro: Commodities Lower as Risk of War Recedes

TheStreet.com

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Commodities and Turkish equities have both seen large price swings in response to the West's potential involvement in Syria.

The first chart below is of PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking . This basket of commodities is most heavily weighted by gold and crude oil futures.

Gold caught a bid on news that the West may intervene in Syria, because the uncertainty left investors fleeing riskier assets. The precious metal spiked at the end of August and is now retreating as the risk of war is diminishing.

Oil similarly saw a spike as the fear over supply disruption caused many to bid the commodity higher. Violence in the Middle East posed a threat to trade routes and further tension meant that supplies shipped from the region could be in jeopardy.

As with gold, the premium of war is quickly diminishing and the price of oil has dropped from its peak.

Treasuries were also seen as a safe-haven buy during the crisis, and have since sold off from their lofty levels. With the Federal Reserve interest rate decision next week looming, rates have been driven up and the U.S. dollar has moved higher.

On a technical level, the events of August pushed the commodity basket into a head-and-shoulders pattern. As commodities have sold off, prices have broken lower out of the pattern.

With U.S. monetary policy in focus now, expect a further selloff in commodities, with the potential for a move to yearly lows.

The next chart is of iShares MSCI Turkey Invest Mkt Index . Turkish equities took a hit as investors pulled money from the country because of fear of a spillover from the violence in bordering Syria.

Refugees were fleeing to Turkey, and surrounding countries were choosing sides between the state and the rebel forces. Any outside intervention could have been disastrous in the short term for a country so close to the action, like Turkey.

Turkey is also an emerging economy. Higher U.S. rates and a flight of funds from the region -- similar to what is happening in India -- has had negative effects on investor sentiment surrounding the country.

With this negativity, the exchange-trade fund sold off to yearly lows. Although on a technical basis, Turkish equities have bounced off of their lows, there may be trouble ahead.

Look for a short-term rally, but a potential selloff is looming as a tighter U.S. monetary policy could push more funds out of Turkey.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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