Metals, crops and fuel beat stocks, bonds and the dollar for a third straight month, the longest stretch since June 2008, as inflation lifted cotton and cocoa and investors speculated violence in the Middle East and northern Africa will restrain energy supplies.
Faster global growth pushed up raw-material prices since September and gains accelerated after riots toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi. At the same time, central banks in emerging economies from China to Russia are raising interest rates and boosting reserve requirements at banks to fight inflation, holding back equities.
“These commodity price increases are staggering,” said Kevin Rendino, a money manager at New York-based BlackRock Inc., which oversees $3.45 trillion. “Each commodity is different, but there is a supply issue for oil. There has been real economic demand for these commodities since the economy began recovering.”