Soros joins gold-stake cuts before bear market drop

Further Drop

While the selloff has been faster than expected, a further drop in ETP holdings will probably mean more price declines, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts including Jeffrey Currie wrote in a report dated May 14.

Northern Trust cut its SPDR stake by 57% to 6.9 million shares, according to a filing dated May 1. The asset- management company, as a custodian, holds assets without discretion over how they are invested, Doug Holt, the head of global corporate communications, said yesterday in an e-mail.

“We made one change to our global tactical asset allocation policy this month: eliminating our tactical position in gold,” Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist in Chicago at Northern Trust, which oversees about $810 billion, said in a report on March 13.

BlackRock, the world’s biggest money manager, trimmed its holdings by half to 4.1 million shares, a filing dated April 12 showed. On May 9, Robert Kapito, president of the New York-based company, said that he would still buy the metal.

Farallon, Whitebox

Farallon Capital Management LLC bought 600,000 shares of SPDR, while Omega Advisors Inc. purchased 90,000. Whitebox Advisors LLC reduced its holdings 90% to 3,741 shares.

Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Soros, did not respond to a voicemail. Armel Leslie, a spokesman for Paulson, didn’t have an immediate comment on the filing. Steve Bruce, a spokesman for San Fransisco-based Farallon, declined to comment.

Money managers who oversee more than $100 million in equities must file a Form 13F with the SEC within 45 days of each quarter’s end to show their U.S.-listed stocks, options and convertible bonds. The filings don’t show non-U.S. securities or how much cash the firms hold.

Futures declined for a sixth day today, heading for the longest slump since December 2011 as the dollar’s rally eroded demand for the metal as an alternative investment. Holdings in the SPDR extended a drop to the lowest since March 2009.

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