Don’t Ignore Doctor Copper

A sneak peek into the weekly report from the ever fabulous Dhaval Joshi, Chief European Strategist, BCA Research.

But first, thanks to our friends at Metal Bulletin for the following interview!

Key Points:

  • Dr. Copper is still doing an excellent job pinpointing the global growth cycle. But the copper price has been unusually bad at predicting the stock market.
  • Speculative position: simultaneously buy deep out-of-the-money 1-year options, calls on copper, puts on the DAX. One of these options could expire worthless, but the other could multiply several times over.
  • Neutralise any big euro area periphery versus core equity position. The valuation discount is no longer sufficient compensation for the extra risk.
  • The Netherlands stock market (AEX) offers an attractive structural valuation to risk trade-off.
  • Buy the aggregate euro area bond as a core long-term investment. In a low interest rate and disinflationary world, a 3.5% yield and half the volatility of a comparable U.S. T-bond is an attractive combination.



They say that copper has a PhD in Economics – for the metal’s uncanny ability to pinpoint turning points in the economic cycle. The rationale is simple. In the modern global economy, copper is everywhere. The average house contains 70 kg of copper pipes; the average car contains 35 kg of copper wiring. Furthermore, copper is used extensively in power generation, power transmission, industrial machinery, and of course electronic goods – as well as to make the important alloys brass (with zinc) and bronze (with tin). Given this ubiquitous use, many people understandably consider the price of copper as the ultimate real-time indicator of world demand.

But is it still right to trust Dr. Copper? Several analysts have warned of potential misdiagnoses. Clearly, the price of copper is a function of its supply (including inventories) as well as its demand. And the analysts claim that some unique dynamics of copper’s supply and demand might be to blame for the recent softness in its price.

Indeed, earlier this year even the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) claimed that “anecdotal evidence suggests that unreported inventories held in bonded warehouses in China increased significantly during 2012”.* The point is that the subsequent unwinding of these large hidden Chinese supplies might be weighing down on prices through 2013 even with robust demand. Other analysts point out that as plastic PEX pipes replace traditional copper plumbing in homes there will be an inevitable structural drag on copper demand.


*From the ICSG Press Release issued on March 21, 2013

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What’s On Mark Mobius’s iPad?

Long suspected, but finally confirmed!

Have you downloaded the BCA iPad App? Available FREE on the itunes Store.

BCA Research Launches New Application: BCA Analytics (BAN)

BCA Research introduces BCA Analytics – a new application to bridge the gap between strategy research and the investment decision-making process.

BCA Research is pleased to announce the launch of a new research application, BCA Analytics. Delivering the power to spot trends, uncover correlations and identify actionable investment opportunities, BAN gives users the ability to build upon BCA’s research and communicate ideas through powerful data visualizations.

Advanced features include:

  • Adjust date-ranges – find correlations and create your own stories
  • Search – instantly find charts through natural language queries
  • Updates – always have access to the latest data for models and indicators
  • Add related data sets – including time-series and models unique to BCA
  • Clip charts – export for use in internal or client presentations
  • Annotate and share – build convincing stories through visual notes

What can users expect from BAN?

With over 150,000 raw time-series, proprietary analytics and indicators, BAN gives users access to thousands of BCA charts – all with the latest data, and each with a brief description for research context. BCA Analytics is designed to integrate seamlessly into a client’s investment decision-making workflow; click on a BCA chart in a research report to access the application – and once in, download any underlying research report with the touch of a button.*

Using proprietary semantic technology, BCA Analytics allows you to zero in on any one of thousands of BCA charts, predictive analytics and indicators from our research publications.

BAN redefines investment research by harnessing the power of data analysis, visualization and research content to deliver actionable insights for investment professionals. – Brijesh Malkan, Product Director, BCA Research

Add new data sets, adjust date-ranges, and add annotations and comments to charts to create your own personalized stories on market trends, investment ideas and trading strategies. Favorite charts for future reference or clip custom views of charts to a virtual folder for future use.

Export charts for presentations and share charts within the application to communicate with a team. BAN gives users the control to build upon BCA’s research together with the ability to effectively communicate the results through storied visualizations.

BCA trusts that financial professionals will find this new and innovative application invaluable to their investment decision-making process.

Click here to request a short trial to BCA Analytics.

*Requires Service Subscription

About BCA Research:
BCA Research is a world leading provider of independent investment research. Since 1949, the firm has provided its clients with leading-edge analysis and forecasts of the major financial markets, with clear and focused investment strategy recommendations and backed by countless proprietary models and leading indicators. BCA provides its services to financial professionals in more than 90 countries through a wide range of products, services, and meetings.

HedgeFund Intelligence: Global Hedge Fund Assets Near $2.35tr As Big Firms Drive Growth

HFI logo

Thanks to our friends at HedgeFund Intelligence for sharing an excerpt from their upcoming Global Review. Reprinted with the full permission of HFI. All rights reserved.

London, October 2013 – The growth in global hedge fund assets continued to accelerate during the first half of 2013 on the back of robust fund performance across the industry and new inflows from investors worldwide, according to the latest research from leading global industry information provider HedgeFund Intelligence (HFI).

In the newly-published Autumn 2013 issue of its bi-annual Global Review, HedgeFund Intelligence reports that assets in hedge funds of traditional types – which are mostly domiciled offshore or structured as limited partnerships in the US – had reached $2.337 trillion (including parallel onshore versions) as at the end of June this year.

That represents an increase of just over 6% compared with the corresponding figure of $2.208 trillion as at the end of 2012 – and is up by almost 9% from a year ago, when assets stood at $2.147 trillion at the end of June 2012.

If other hedge fund strategies in standalone European UCITS onshore structures (with no parallel offshore versions) are also added, the global industry assets total rises to $2.456 trillion as at the mid-point of 2013 – up from $2.339 trillion at the start of the year.

The bulk of the industry’s total assets are concentrated in funds managed from North America – which accounted for $1.697 trillion in assets at the end of June, some 73% of the global industry – with European-based funds managing $425 billion (18%), Asia-based hedge funds running a further $91 billion (4%) and the balance coming from funds based in Latin America, Australasia and Africa.

Given that the HedgeFund Intelligence Global Composite Index recorded a median return of just under 3.75% across all hedge funds in the first half of the year, it is clear that much of the overall growth in assets during the year resulted from investment performance.

However it is also clear that new capital inflows are starting to gather pace again, with a generally strong financial market backdrop helping to fuel investor confidence.

The industry has now recovered much of the earlier steep decline that it suffered in 2008 from the onset of the global financial crisis – when global hedge fund assets fell by over 30% from the brief peak of $2.7 trillion in mid-2008, as tracked by HFI – and the overall global hedge fund assets total is now within 10% of its pre-crisis peak.

The big firms dominate

Meanwhile, the biggest players in the global hedge fund industry are continuing to get bigger, accounting for a rising proportion of total assets, according to the latest statistics on the Global Billion Dollar Club – the elite group of firms that manage $1 billion or more in hedge fund assets.

Collectively, the 389 current members of the Global Billion Dollar Club (up from 367 at the start of this year) managed assets of $2.039 trillion as at the end of June this year, up again from $1.925 trillion at the start of 2013, accounting for some 87% of the industry’s total assets.

The lion’s share of this figure is further concentrated in the ‘Super League’ of biggest firms that manage $5 billion or more in assets. The number of firms in that category has edged up from 110 from 107 at the start of the year. Collectively these firms manage hedge fund assets of $1.43 trillion – up from $1.37 trillion at the start of 2013.

The US market remains firmly the top location for the world’s biggest hedge fund firms. New York is still the biggest single centre of the industry by a margin, with 175 of those firms up from 157 at the start of the year – with the city accounting for over 45% of all Global Billion Dollar Club assets – with a further 28 member firms based in Connecticut, 24 in California and 15 in Massachusetts.

London remains in second place overall, being home to 57 of the Club members and representing just over 13% of the total Club assets. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for just over 3% of Club assets – up from 2.5% at the start of the year – with Hong Kong housing 17 Billion Dollar Club members and nine member firms based in Singapore.

About HedgeFund Intelligence

HedgeFund Intelligence is the leading provider of news, analysis and performance data on the global hedge fund industry. The company provides dedicated information on US, European, Asian and African single-manager hedge funds as well as on hedge fund investors worldwide.

To view more of the Global Review and access the latest news and analysis, take a free trial.

Lawrence H. Summers To Deliver Keynote At BCA 2013 New York Investment Conference

BCA Research is pleased to welcome both Lawrence H. Summers and Nate Silver as keynotes at the BCA 2013 New York Investment Conference, September 23-24, 2013 at The Waldorf Astoria.

Montreal, QC September 10, 2013

BCA is delighted that two of their New York 2013 esteemed speakers, Lawrence Summers and Donald Kohn, are contenders to be the next Fed Chairman. Moreover, it should be noted that the exclusive event will include many other world-class stars, all of whom are showcased at the 2013 Conference Speakers’ Page.

The event theme is Easy Money versus Weak Growth: Can The Bull Market Be Sustained?, and will be held September 23-24, 2013 at The Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

A few of the additional speakers include:

Nate Silver has become today’s leading statistician through his innovative and strategic analyses. He first gained national attention during the 2008 presidential election, when he correctly predicted the results of the primaries and the presidential winner in 49 states. Nate runs the award-winning, where he publishes a running forecast of current elections and hot-button issues.

Athanasios Orphanides is Professor of the Practice of Global Economics and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Before joining MIT, he served a five-year term (2007-2012) as Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus. After the introduction of the euro in Cyprus in January 2008, Orphanides served as a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank.

William J. Raduchel is strategic advisor and independent director. He teaches corporate strategy at Georgetown University, and was formerly CTO of AOL Time Warner and Chief Strategy Officer of Sun Microsystems. Raduchel spent five years as head teaching assistant to John Kenneth Galbraith at Harvard, and he himself later taught several future economists, including Lawrence Summers and Ben Bernanke.

BCA’s 2013 New York Investment Conference, featuring keynote speakers Lawrence H. Summers and Nate Silver, is now 95 percent sold out.

“We are tremendously pleased with the speaker line-up for 2013,” says Martin Barnes, Chief Economist of BCA Research. “Having such expert speakers as Robert Gordon, James Grant and Byron Wien, together with keynotes, Larry Summers and Nate Silver, we expect this will be one of the year’s top investment conferences.”

The final agenda for BCA’s 2013 New York Investment Conference can be accessed at: Easy Money versus Weak Growth: Can The Bull Market Be Sustained?

To register for any last available seats, visit: Register BCA 2013.

Nate Silver BCA Research

We look forward to seeing all registered delegates in New York City!