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Commodity Assets Increase to a Four-Month High, Barclays Says

Commodity assets under management rose to a four-month high in August as prices of raw materials increased and investors slowed the pace of selling precious metals, Barclays Plc said.

The value of commodity assets under management rose to $363 billion in August, up $13 billion from the prior month, according to an e-mailed report from the bank, which tracks index and exchange-traded products and medium-term notes. Assets were still below a peak of $458 billion in June, the bank said.

Net-outflows from precious metals ETPs slowed to $423 million in August, less than 10 percent of the average monthly exit so far this year, Barclays said. Commodity prices rose in August, with the Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials posting a 2.9 percent gain, led by silver, gas oil and gold. The index declined 3.8 percent in September, leaving a third-quarter gain of 3.5 percent.

“Commodity markets look in better shape than for some time, but we caution against becoming too optimistic just yet,” Barclays analysts including Kevin Norrish said in the e-mailed report. “Despite some promising signs, there is little evidence that the global economy is anywhere near embarking on a period of sustained recovery and returns to long-only investors are likely to remain choppy for some time.”

The energy sector saw a net-inflow of $1 billion in August, while new investments in agriculture totaled $400 million, the first increase since March, Barclays said. Industrial metals attracted $200 million in investments, and the total outflow in precious metals was worth $300 million, according to the report.

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