Trading Post

Last updated: December 10, 2013 7:30 am

Bearish bets show loss of faith in bullion

This could be just the news that the gold bugs wanted to hear. More and more traders have lost faith in bullion.

The latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as noted by Bloomberg, show that in the week to December 3, speculative investors were at their least bullish since 2007.

The number of net long positions in gold futures and options dropped 16 per cent compared with the previous week.

Bearish wagers have increased with shorts up 6.2 per cent to within a fraction of the record hit in July. All this as bullish bets across a basket of 18 US-traded commodity contracts rose to a four-week high.

This tells us growing optimism over the US economy is encouraging traders to be more positive about prospects for commodity demand but the same reasoning pushes up bond yields and increases the opportunity cost of holding gold.

Add the fact that retail investors have been moving out of gold funds this year, meek inflation pressures in many developed economies and the nasty look of the gold price chart, and it is easy to see why many analysts argue for a lower gold price in 2014.

Yet the more that a consensus builds, the closer to a possible turn in sentiment.

jamie.chisholm@ft.com

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