Futures & Commodities

Two bullish signs herald the return of a commodities supercycle, says analyst

Gunzberg: Commodities show signs of bull run

The global supercycle in commodities that has lost steam in recent years shows signs of revving up again, S&P Dow Jones Indices' global head of commodities and real assets said Friday.

Jodie Gunzberg sees two bullish signals for commodities as they come off their first positive year since 2012.

First, industrial metals have recently outperformed precious metals by the widest margin in 26 years, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

"That is very bullish. It shows investors are excited not only to participate in the upside of the economic growth with industrials, but they're willing to give up their positions in gold as a safe haven to do it," Gunzberg told CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report."

Second, industrial and energy stocks combined have had their best performance since 1999, S&P Dow Jones Indices reports.

"These are the two most economically sensitive sectors. The last time that we saw this high of performance here, we saw an eight-year bull run that returned 360 percent," she said.

Gunzberg said there is no reason for these trends to reverse given expectations for higher U.S. economic growth, but she is watching two key variables.

The first is OPEC's ability to manage oil production cuts in a bid to reduce huge stockpiles and a global oversupply that has cratered crude prices. The second is President-elect Donald Trump's capability to deliver policies that boost economic growth.

Grain and gasoline prices — two key components of overall inflation — have been on the rise, so the United States needs growth in infrastructure spending and employment in order to avoid stagflation, or a period of rising prices paired with weak GDP gains and high unemployment, Gunzberg said.

The dollar also needs to come down from multiyear highs, she said. A weaker greenback boosts demand for dollar-denominated commodities by making them more affordable to holders of other currencies.