Gold and silver have outshone most assets, but another commodity is shaping up to be this year’s best performer: lumber. Prices for the wood have hit a record high after demand surged on a wave of renovation projects, at a time when inventories were running low.
Lumber prices have soared 104% this year — almost four times gold’s percentage increase — to $828 per thousand board feet.
Global dividends suffered the worst quarterly fall since 2009, with more than $100bn wiped off their value in the three months to June, as companies ditched payouts in response to the pandemic. Total shareholder payouts fell by about a fifth, to $382.2bn, according to asset manager Janus Henderson. Companies including the UK’s Royal Dutch Shell and Boeing in the US suspended, cut or axed payouts in an attempt to shore up their balance sheets. Still, Janus expects global dividends to exceed $1-trillion this year and next.
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