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Commodities lose diversification edge

Using commodities to hedge potential losses in stock markets has not worked lately, and the tighter link among assets these days means diversification benefits may not be as great as before.

Hedge funds, pension funds, mutual funds and wealthy individuals who invested in commodities on the theory that they move independently of other asset classes watched helplessly as the global economic nosedive turned commodities, once the top asset class, into the year’s worst performer after equities.

Those who have studied commodities and longtime investors in energy, metals and grains say that in ordinary times, these markets make good alternatives to stocks.

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