Gold bulls increase positions to highest since January

Copper Imports

Bullish holdings in copper slid 9.1% to 13,043 contracts. The wagers were bullish for a third week after five straight months of bearish bets. Futures in New York climbed 3.7% in August, the most since November, amid signs of improving demand in China, the world’s largest consumer. Refined imports of the metal reached a 10-month high in July, Chinese customs data showed Aug. 21.

Silver wagers climbed 2% to 16,469 contracts, the highest since February. Investors were betting on a decline as recently as June. Holdings of the metal in ETPs climbed to a record Aug. 30. Bullish platinum bets rose for a seventh consecutive week.

A measure of net-long positions across 11 agricultural products jumped 31% to 282,843 futures and options, government data show. Investors had a net-short holding of 9,713 in the week to Aug. 6, the first bearish outlook in records going back to June 2006. The S&P GSCI Agriculture Index of eight commodities advanced 0.4% last month, the first gain since January.

Soybean Wagers

Bullish soybean holdings increased 38% to 138,182 contracts, the highest since June 11. Prices surged 13% in August, the most in 13 months, as drought expanded in Iowa and Illinois, the top U.S. growers. Heat and dry weather may reduce the domestic crop that the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast to be 8% bigger than last year.

Profit growth for industrial companies quickened to 12% in July from 6.3% in June, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Aug. 27. Credit Suisse Group AG raised its forecasts for Chinese economic growth this year and next a day earlier as data from manufacturing to exports signal strengthening expansion. The GSCI commodity gauge has rebounded 10% since reaching a nine-month low in April.

“The declines in commodities were overdone on the concerns over China’s economy,” said Adrian Day, who manages about $135 million as the president of Adrian Day Asset Management in Annapolis, Maryland. “We’re seeing a more realistic view of the Chinese economy. People are also seeing that supplies will be up, but it’s not going to crush the market.”

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