Beware, commodity index rebalancing ahead | FT Alphaville

Beware, commodity index rebalancing ahead

The major commodity indices rebalance their respective asset weightings once a year (or occasionally more) — and with that comes a mass dose of buying and selling. The 2009 rebalancing is expected to start sometime this week.

Luckily, JP Morgan has produced its best guess of how the 2009 reweightings of the DJ AIGCI and the S&P GSCI indices will impact the market.

The weightings for both indices are released ahead of time, but begin to kick in the first few working days of the new year. In the case of the DJ-AIGCI — which JP Morgan estimates has $25bn in funds tracking it — the new weightings come into force during the roll period that begins January 9th. The S&P GSCI index weightings kick-in after its January roll which commences January 8th. JP Morgan estimates about $50 bn of investment into that index.
As the DJ weighting multipliers account for changes in US dollar-denominated values there is generally more potential for large changes there than in the GSCI, whose weightings are set in terms of ounces/tonnes (on the basis of liquidity and are weighted by their respective world production quantities).

Accordingly, JP Morgan see the most significant change coming in the DJ-AIGCI rebalance. Here the market weight of crude oil is expected to increase from 9.6 per cent to 13.8 per cent, gold from 10.8 per cent to 7.9 per cent, copper (COMEX) from 4.5 per cent to 7.3 per cent, live cattle from 6.4 per cent to 4.3 per cent and sugar from 4.7 per cent to 3.0 per cent. Meanwhile, S&P GSCI crude oil weight will go from 32 per cent to 33.8 per cent. Their analysis:

In financial terms, we expect the rebalancing to have the greatest impact in gold, COMEX copper, crude oil, gold, and live cattle. We estimate that the rebalancing of the two indices is expected to result in $877 million of selling in gold, $699 million of buying in COMEX copper, $528 million of selling in live cattle, and $523 million of buying in crude oil.

Here’s JP Morgan’s estimated impact from the rebalancing of both indices (click to enlarge).

JP Morgan rebalancing estimates

And here are the new weightings, respectively:

GSCI weightings by JP Morgan

AIGCI weightings by JP Morgan

Related links:
S&P GSCI Index weightings – Goldman Sachs
DJ- AIG Commodity Index – Dow Jones Indexes
An oil-price cracker too late for some – FT Alphaville