Speculators held a net-long position, or bets on higher prices, of 43,195 futures and options as of March 12, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. That’s up 9% from the previous week, when they were the least bullish since July 2007.
Bullion slid to a seven-month low of $1,555.55 on Feb. 21. It retreated to $1,522.65 in December 2011, before rebounding to $1,796.05 in October. It’s too early to call an end of the bull market, Commerzbank AG said in a report yesterday, citing low interest rates, currency devaluation and gold purchases by central banks. Nations added 534.6 tons to reserves last year, the most since 1964, the London-based World Gold Council says.
In other commodities, 14 of 23 traders and analysts surveyed expect copper to rise next week, seven were bearish and two were neutral. The metal for delivery in three months, the London Metal Exchange’s benchmark contract, slipped 3.4% to $7,659.75 a ton this year.
Six of 11 people surveyed expect raw sugar to fall next week and four predict a gain. The commodity slid 6.4% to 18.26 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York this year.
Fifteen of 28 of those surveyed anticipate a rise in corn prices next week and 11 said the grain will drop, while 13 said soybeans will fall and 10 expect higher prices. Fourteen of 25 traders predicted rising wheat and nine were bearish. Corn rose 4.5% to $7.295 a bushel this year in Chicago as soybeans added 2.6% to $14.4675 a bushel. Wheat is down 6.7% at $7.2625 a bushel.
The S&P GSCI gauge of raw materials gained 1.3% since falling to a 10-week low on March 4. Investors increased wagers on a rally across 18 U.S. commodities by 30% in the week to March 12, the most in eight months, CFTC data show.
“We see the current correction as a good buying opportunity and expect industrial metals to be the sector with the best potential,” said Filip Petersson, a commodities strategist at SEB AB in Stockholm. “The U.S. economy is showing strength and China is stable. I expect sentiment to remain quite optimistic.”