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Commodities cap another dismal year as 2019 offers tough tes

Commodities had another poor year in 2018, hurt by substantial losses in energy and base metals, and raw materials will head into January burdened by concerns global economic growth is poised to slow.


The Bloomberg commodity index, a gauge of returns on 22 raw material futures, is heading for a 12 percent drop this year after hitting the lowest since April 2016 earlier this month. It’ll be the seventh annual fall in 11 years.

Raw materials have lost ground amid a flurry of signs the pace of expansion will slow next year, and as the U.S.-China trade war spurs uncertainty. That’s been a setback for bulls including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., who’ve made the case that commodities should do well as a late-cycle play, and as some of them are out of step with supportive fundamentals. Still, underscoring the risks ahead, data on Monday showed manufacturing in China shrank this month.

Among 2018’s biggest losers, West Texas Intermediate crude slumped more than 20 percent amid concern there’s too much supply, while in metals, economic bellwether copper shed 19 percent on the Comex.

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