Closely followed market watcher Dennis Gartman said Thursday he likes two metal commodity plays.
First, the founder and publisher of The Gartman Letter told CNBC's " Squawk Box " he's long on shares of aluminum giant Alcoa, which has been up nearly 9 percent year to date. But over the past 12 months, the stock has fallen about 20 percent.
"I've liked Alcoa for quite a period of time. ... I want to own things that if I drop them on my foot will hurt," he said. "I looked at the chart of Alcoa and it looks awfully strong. More and more aluminum is going into airplanes ... [and] automobiles."
"Aluminum is absolutely incumbent in global economic growth. And the economy is growing," he said. He added that concerns over slowing demand for commodities in China is overblown. "There's been ... too much lack of optimism on the circumstances in China."
Alcoa reported mixed first-quarter results last week . Company earnings beat estimates, but revenue fell short of expectations.
Alcoa reiterated its plans to separate into two publicly traded companies, one housing its legacy aluminum and smelting operations and the other its higher-growth materials segment. The decision was announced last year amid a divergence in the businesses.
Secondly, Gartman said he likes gold in euro and yen terms, calling the precious metal in those currencies a "bull market."
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Over the past five years, gold in euros has been up 7.3 percent, while gold in yen terms has been up 11.4 percent. Year to date, gold in euros has gained 13.6 percent, while gold in yen terms has advanced 7.3 percent.
Gartman said gold in dollar terms has been a tough trade over the past few months. "If you own gold in dollar terms, [it's] not great, good fun. But if you own gold in other terms, it's been a great, good bull market. It's been working. I shall continue."
Over the past five years, gold in dollar terms has been down nearly 17 percent. Year to date, it has gained about 18 percent, but as Gartman pointed out, the metal in dollar terms in the past two months has been all over the place.
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