Investors increased their bets on a rally for crude oil for a third week to 205,140 futures and options, the CFTC data show. The funds decreased wagers on declines for copper to 13,115 short contracts from 16,798 a week earlier. Silver holdings tumbled 72% to 1,413, the lowest since speculators were net-short on April 9.
A measure of speculative positions across 11 agricultural products jumped 15% to 270,486 contracts, the highest since March. Wagers on a corn rally increased 23% to 75,632 futures and options, a third straight gain. Cotton holdings rose the most since January.
Cotton prices climbed 15% this year, the biggest gain after natural gas among the 24 commodities tracked by S&P. Dry weather will extend a drought pattern through May 22 in West Texas, the top U.S. growing region, MDA Information Systems Inc. said May 17. U.S. production will fall 19% this year, the Department of Agriculture said May 10.
“Everything in the agricultural space depends on weather,” said Paul Christopher, the chief international strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors LLC in St. Louis, which helps manage $1.3 trillion. “There’s definitely a high probability of more pain to come in gold. If the dollar can continue to gain on the yen, I think we’ll continue to see people sell out of gold and look for the dollar or U.S. stocks.”
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