|Signs of a rebound in the US and a return to strong growth in Chiina have seen bets by hedge funds and other major investors on rising commodity prices - a proxy for a global economic recovery - climb sharply, according to figures from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the US.
The number of contracts betting on higher commodity prices rose by 10pc in the week ending March 26, to complete a three-week surge of 67pc, the biggest advance since May 2009.
Meanwhile in a positive sign from China, manufacturing activity accelerated at its fastest in nearly a year in March after hitting a five-month low in February.
A string of positive economic news from the US in recent weeks suggests that the world's largest economy is charting a path to growth.
Unemployment last month dropped to its lowest level in more than four years, a rate that could slide further should the burgeoning recovery in the US housing market be sustained. Consumer spending rose in February as the wage boost from rising job numbers more than offset tax rises. The US economy's fourth quarter growth rose at a 0.4pc annual rate, an upward revision on a preliminary 0.1pc estimate.
The benchmark Standard and Poor's 500, which is seen as a bellwether for the US economy, closed at an all time high last week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has been climbing past its pre-crisis high since March 5.
“Over the last quarter, we’ve seen an improvement in US economic activity far above expectations,” said Chad Morganlander, a Florham Park, New Jersey-based manager at $130bn fund Stifel Nicolaus & Co.
“That has ginned up demand expectations.”
Markets have also stayed calm amid turmoil in Europe as investors greeted an eleventh-hour bail-out struck between the island and an EU-IMF troika of lenders, which averted the island's financial collapse and a possible eurozone exit.