Salient to Investors:

Commodity speculators increased net-long positions last week by the most since Nov. 27.

Barclays says investors increased commodity holdings by $20.4 billion in 2012 versus $14.6 billion in 2011. Suki Cooper et al at Barclays said palladium will be the best performing precious metal in 2013 as supplies tighten and demand increases from China. Barclays expects energy and industrial metals to rise in 2013.

Mihir Worah at Pimco said increased investor flows into commodities are supported by fundamentals.

The median economist expects China’s growth to rise to 8 percent in Q1  and 8.2 percent in Q2.

Adrian Day at Adrian Day Asset Mgmt said higher taxes for Americans is going to have a lot of impact and may dim the outlook for commodity prices if consumer spending slows.

Cameron Brandt at EPFR Global said money managers added a net $861 million to commodity funds last week, while precious-metals funds had $39 million outflows.

John Kinsey at Caldwell Securities said the outlook for global growth has improved, with China’s a big factor because it’s the largest importer of almost any commodity, plus a new regime in Japan, and Europe gotten its act together.

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