Capital.com’s traders agree commodity markets will outperform in 2023

Rick Steves

A survey of 4,093 Capital.com clients carried out between July and August of 2022 suggests that 63% of retail traders expect global markets to go into recession in 2023. 

A fourth of survey participants (25%) did not expect global markets to be in recession in 2023, while 12% remained unsure of the outlook.

As to the severity of the expected recession, 40% of those who believe in an upcoming recession said global markets would experience a multi-year recession while 47% expect it to be short and mild.

As to portfolio positioning for the next 6 to 12 months, nearly a third of respondents said they would not change their strategy (31%), nearly a fourth (23%) said they would take on more short positions, and about a fifth (21%) of those polled said they would move into cash savings and investments. 16% of traders planned for more exposure to gold in 2023.

Indeed, 43% of UK respondents believed that gold markets would be the best-performing commodity market in the year ahead, and over 70% of them said that commodity markets overall would perform well over the next six to 12 months. As to other asset classes, outperformance in stocks and FX is not seen as a probable event, with only 16% and 10%, respectively, believing in such a scenario.

Recession risks due to supply disruptions, labor-market pressures and ongoing geopolitical issues

Daniela Hathorn, Market Analyst at Capital.com, said: “We know that markets are usually one-step ahead of the economy and while there continues to be concerns about a recession, traders are perhaps starting to think that the worst-case scenario may have been avoided, which was partly reflected in the stock market recovery in Q4. However, looking ahead, recession concerns will likely persist even as central banks around the world press pause on further rate hikes. Supply disruptions, labour-market pressures and ongoing geopolitical risks will likely keep recession risks elevated in 2023.”

“It’s interesting to note how more traders are looking at shorting strategies as markets turn more uncertain. Contracts for Difference (CFD) trading enables traders to take a short position in many markets, meaning they are able to position themselves accordingly even when their views are more pessimistic or they believe an asset is overpriced. That said, as always, traders should be cautious when placing leveraged positions and should implement appropriate risk management into their strategies, like the use of stop losses.

“The main theme across commodity markets in 2022 was the outperformance of the energy sector while precious metals like gold and silver were underwhelming. Looking ahead to this year, the possible end of central bank tightening and the shift from inflation concerns to recession concerns should favour bullion while the dollar continues to weaken. Our survey findings seem to reflect this trajectory with more than 43% of traders in the UK expecting gold markets to perform well over the next six to 12 months.”

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