Commodities posted gains in April despite mixed macroeconomic conditions. Prices were supported by increased inflation expectations and ongoing tensions in the Middle East.

Nelson Louie, Global Head of Commodities at Credit Suisse Asset Management, said, “Prices of risky assets generally increased for the month of April, while the US dollar continued to weaken. Precious metals once again took the spotlight in April, posting strong gains amidst currency uncertainty. Investor focus shifted towards the US debt burden, after Standard & Poor’s put the US on negative watch for the first time. Meanwhile, other countries, such as the UK, France and Germany, have also taken steps to address deficit reduction issues. Concerns over accelerated inflation in various parts of the world, and the future plans of troubled European nations, added to the risk premium for precious metals, while the ongoing situation in the Middle East coupled with strong export demand pushed Crude prices higher.”

Christopher Burton, Senior Portfolio Manager for the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy, added, “With economies around the world improving, and continued extraordinarily loose monetary policy in the United States, odds of inflation overshooting historical levels and expectations remain elevated.  We believe investors will continue to benefit from the diversification benefits that commodities provide.”

The Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total Return was up by 3.46% in April.  Overall, 11 out of 19 index constituents increased in value, with Precious Metals serving as the strongest sector as both Gold and Silver increased. Energy continued to fare well in April, gaining 5.90%, with Gasoline and Crude Oil leading the way, up 8.92% and 6.08% respectively.  Agriculture was neutral with mixed performance from its components. Gains on Corn (+7.70%) and Coffee helped to offset losses from Cotton and Sugar.  The Industrials Metals sector was down slightly, declining 0.50% for the month.  Concerns remain that Chinese economic growth may slow, curbing base metals demand.  Livestock was the worst performing sector, down 7.12%, erasing its gains from the first quarter when it was the Index’s top performing sector.  Lean Hogs fell 8.32% while Live Cattle declined 6.30% due to signs that consumers were curbing demand amid higher retail prices.

The Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy group periodically produces updates on relevant industry topics. For a copy of their white paper, “How Commodities Can Help Investors Face the Uncertainty of the Inflation/Deflation Debate“, please email ir.betastrategies@credit-suisse.com.

About the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy

Credit Suisse’s Total Commodity Return Strategy has been managed for fourteen years and seeks to outperform the return of a commodities index, such as the Dow Jones–UBS Commodity Index Total Return or the S&P GSCI Total Return Index, using a quantitative commodity research process. Commodity index total returns are achieved through:

  • Spot Return: price return on specified commodity futures contracts;
  • Roll Yield: impact due to migration of futures positions from near to far contracts; and
  • Collateral Yield: return earned on collateral for the futures.

As of April 30, 2011 the team managed approximately USD 10.7 billion in assets globally.

Credit Suisse AG

Credit Suisse AG is one of the world’s leading financial services providers and is part of the Credit Suisse group of companies (referred to here as ‘Credit Suisse’). As an integrated bank, Credit Suisse offers clients its combined expertise in the areas of private banking, investment banking and asset management. Credit Suisse provides advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients globally, as well as to retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse is headquartered in Zurich and operates in over 50 countries worldwide. The group employs approximately 50,100 people. The registered shares (CSGN) of Credit Suisse’s parent company, Credit Suisse Group AG, are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CS), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com.

Asset Management

In its Asset Management business, Credit Suisse offers products across a broad spectrum of investment classes, including hedge funds, credit, index, real estate, commodities and private equity products, as well as multi-asset class solutions, which include equities and fixed income products. Credit Suisse’s Asset Management business manages portfolios, mutual funds and other investment vehicles for a broad spectrum of clients ranging from governments, institutions and corporations to private individuals. With offices focused on asset management in 19 countries, Credit Suisse’s Asset Management business is operated as a globally integrated network to deliver the bank’s best investment ideas and capabilities to clients around the world.

All businesses of Credit Suisse are subject to distinct regulatory requirements; certain products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all client types.

Important Legal Information

This document was produced by and the opinions expressed are those of Credit Suisse as of the date of writing and are subject to change without obligation to update. It has been prepared solely for information purposes and for the use of the recipient. It does not constitute an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of Credit Suisse to any person to buy or sell any security. Any reference to past performance is not a guide to future performance. The information and analysis contained in this publication have been compiled or arrived at from sources believed to be reliable but Credit Suisse does not make any representation as to their accuracy or completeness and does not accept liability for any loss arising from the use hereof.

Certain information contained in this document constitutes “Forward-Looking Statements” (including observations about markets and industry and regulatory trends as of the original date of this document), which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “target”, “project”, “estimate”, “intend”, “continue” or “believe”, or the negatives thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. Due to various risks and uncertainties beyond our control, actual events, results or performance may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements. Credit Suisse has no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements in this document.

Copyright © 2011, CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.

CONTACT: Katherine Herring, Corporate Communications, Credit Suisse, +1-212-325-7545, katherine.herring@credit-suisse.com

Web Site: http://www.credit-suisse.com

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