Hedge funds cut gold positions as Goldman lowers outlook

Economic Growth

Investors increased their net-short position in copper to 32,599 contracts, from 29,018 a week earlier, CFTC data show. Prices fell 7.1% in June, the most in 13 months. Goldman cut its outlook for the metal saying slowing economic growth in China will crimp consumption. Supplies will outpace demand through 2016, the bank said in a June 25 report.

A measure of net-long positions across 11 agricultural products gained 5.9% to 313,428 futures and options. The S&P’s Agriculture Index of eight commodities plunged 10% last month, the most since September 2011.

Bullish corn positions dropped 5% to 70,701 contracts, the fourth consecutive decline and the longest slump since January. Prices reached a 32-month low on June 28. Soybean holdings reached the lowest in four weeks. U.S. farmers will plant more grain than forecast and the largest oilseed crop on record, the government said June 28.

Planting of corn, the biggest domestic crop, jumped to 97.379 million acres, the most since 1936, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey expected 95.431 million. Wheat acreage reached a four-year high of 56.53 million and soybeans were sown on a record 77.728 million acres.

“A slowdown in China, coupled with rising supplies does, not augur well for commodities,” said Jeff Sica, who helps oversee more than $1 billion as the president of Sica Wealth Management in Morristown, New Jersey. “We are in an era of lower commodity prices.”

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