European Investors Seen by ETF Securities Set to Buy Commodities

European investors plan to increase their allocation to commodities this year, ETF Securities Ltd. said, citing surveys of 350 investment managers.

More than 40 percent of investors plan to allocate 8 percent to 10 percent of their assets to commodities this year, ETF Securities said today in an e-mailed statement. Investors in the U.K., Italy and Germany favor industrial metals, particularly copper, it said.

The surveys were conducted at conferences in London, Milan, Frankfurt and Zurich, ETF Securities said. About a third of those surveyed in the U.K. and Switzerland said they were most concerned about the European sovereign debt crisis, while those in Italy and Germany were more concerned about the U.S. fiscal and budget ceiling issues, it said.

Investors increased holdings in industrial metals by $172 million so far this year, the most among commodity assets, according to Nicholas Brooks, head of research and investment strategy at ETF Securities in London. A total $132 million was added to ETF’s copper exchange-traded products. Gold holdings were reduced by $122 million, he said.

“There is a clear switch from defensive commodities such as gold into the more cyclically-geared commodities such as industrial metals,” Brooks said by phone. “Investors are more bullish about the outlook for commodities in 2013 than in 2012. My interpretation is that the pick-up in the economic growth in China and the U.S. has caused investors to become more optimistic about the outlook for commodities.”

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