Hedge fund gold positions climb to highest since January

Metal Exchange

Investors decreased bullish copper holdings by 37% to 8,211 contracts. Futures rose 0.9% in New York last week. Stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange fell 11% since the end of June.

A measure of net-long positions across 11 agricultural products fell 1.3% to 279,134 futures and options, the first decline since Aug. 6. The S&P GSCI Agriculture Index of eight commodities rose 3.4% from the three-year low reached Aug. 7.

Wagers on a cocoa rally climbed 2.1% to 59,464 contracts, the highest since February 2008. Prices jumped 5.3% in New York last week on dry weather in Ivory Coast and Ghana, the biggest producers.

The net-long position in soybeans climbed 15% to 159,438 contracts, the highest since November. The U.S. government may cut its outlook for the domestic crop this week after hot, dry weather, analysts surveyed by Bloomberg said. The Department of Agriculture updates its forecast Sept. 12.

Industrial Growth

The S&P GSCI index rose 8.1% since the end of June, poised for the biggest quarterly rally in a year. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its forecast for China’s economic growth this year to 7.6% from 7.4%, citing industrial growth and global demand, in a Sept. 3 report. The country is the largest consumer of commodities from cotton to copper to coal.

“The better the economic news, the better it is for commodities,” said John Kinsey, who helps manage about C$1 billion ($961.1 million) of assets at Caldwell Securities Ltd. in Toronto. “If the economies are good, then they need more infrastructure and they need more steel and they need more of everything that uses commodities.”

www.bloomberg.com

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