Most companies in the commodities business have had a terrible time of late, as forces from the flagging Chinese economy to weak demand in the developed world have conspired to drag the Dow Jones commodities index down more than 17% in the past year. But INTL FCStone, the financial services company that specializes in commodity trading, has been able to profit even during the bust, mostly due to the fact that it doesn’t take directional positions in the assets it trades. The firm reported a 12% jump in profits in the second quarter of 2016, driven by strength in its commercial hedging segment.
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Soybean prices in the U.S. and Brazil have taken drastically different paths.