Hedge funds appear to be taking profits on their bullish gold bets as the price continues to hold initial support above $1,800 an ounce, according to the latest trade data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Although speculative bullish gold bets dropped slightly last week, analysts remain optimistic that prices will remain in their long-term uptrend.
“Dips continue to be bought and that shows there is underlying strength in the marketplace,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior commodities broker with RJO Futures, in a recent interview with Kitco News.
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The CFTC’s disaggregated Commitments of Traders report for the week ending July 14 showed money managers decreased their speculative gross long positions in Comex gold futures by 2,410 contracts to 177,400. At the same time, short bets fell by 1,960 contracts to 42,427.
Although gold’s net length was relatively unchanged, the drop in bullish bets, caused gold’s net length to fall for the first time in four weeks; gold’s net length now stands at 134,973, down 3% from the previous week.
Analysts at TD Securities said that shifting investor sentiment could continue to weigh on gold in the near-term. They noted that resilient strength in the U.S. dollar and no new information on global monetary policy stimulus measures will continue to weigh on the yellow metal.
“Given that gold is at the upper part of the trading range and has become quite crowded, the lack of major new macro information likely means that next week’s report will see similar spec dynamics,” the analysts said.
Analysts at Commerzbank also see gold prices struggling to find new momentum above $1,800 an ounce; however, they added that they expect this will be a short consolidation period.
“We believe it is only a question of time before gold resumes its upswing,” the analysts said. “After all, there is still considerable investor interest, as can be seen from the ongoing ETF inflows.”
Although gold’s momentum is starting to stall, silver is attracting a lot of new attention as hedge funds increase their bullish bets and reduce their short exposure.
The disaggregated report showed money-managed speculative gross long positions in Comex silver futures rose by 3,404 contracts to 65,615. At the same time, short positions fell by 3,207 contracts to 22,988.
Silver’s net lengthy jumped to 42,627 contracts, up more than 18% from the previous week. The renewed investors interest pushed silver prices to a new multi-year high with prices above $19 an ounce.
“Silver has been more popular than gold among investors for months now,” said analysts at Commerzbank.