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Commodity Assets Rise to Record, Barclays Says

Commodity assets under management rose $11 billion last month to a record $354 billion, led by demand for index-linked investments, Barclays Capital said.

Investment flows into products linked to commodity indexes reached $3 billion in November, Suki Cooper, Roxana Mohammadian Molina, Kevin Norrish and Amrita Sen, Barclays analysts based in London, said today in a report. Total inflows into indexes, medium-term notes and exchange-traded products were $6.1 billion.

New investments in 2010 are poised to reach $60 billion, trailing only $76 billion in 2009, Barclays said.

The Federal Reserve has kept its benchmark interest rate close to zero percent since December 2008, and the U.S. central bank plans to pump an additional $600 billion into the economy through June by buying government bonds. The Fed purchased $1.7 trillion of securities in a phase that ended in March.

“We expect financial-market conditions in early 2011 to be benign for commodities,” the analysts said. “Sustained economic recovery, positive financial-market sentiment and exceptionally easy monetary policy combine to provide a solid platform for further price gains.”

In November, the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials rose 0.2 percent, the third straight gain. Silver, gasoline and heating oil led the advances.

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