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Smallest Commodity Moves Since 1996 Signal Gold Gain

While wheat as much as doubled this year and cotton surged, the benchmark index for commodities is signaling neither inflation nor deflation, spurring investors to bet the best returns next quarter will be in precious metals.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials, tracked by as much as $80 billion of investments, advanced 1.6 percent this year through Sept. 24, the smallest change since 1996. Record gold prices and a jump in copper were wiped out by slumping natural gas and oil prices as slowing growth in the U.S. and China, the biggest fuel consumers, sapped demand.