Bullion-backed ETP holdings declined every month last year and slipped 79.1 metric tons in December, the most since June, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. They fell to 1,755.6 tons on Jan. 3, the lowest since October 2009. Billionaire John Paulson, the largest investor in the biggest gold ETP, said in November that he personally wouldn’t invest more money into his own gold fund because it’s not clear when inflation will quicken.
Fed officials said Dec. 18 they will trim monthly bond purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion, easing concern about faster consumer-price gains. The program will probably end in December 2014, economists surveyed by Bloomberg last month said. Gold rose 70% from December 2008 to June 2011 as the Fed pumped more than $2 trillion into the financial system.
Hedge funds and other speculators held 76,052 contracts betting on price declines by Dec. 24, near July’s record of 80,147 contracts, CFTC data show. Their net-long position is 7.2% above a six-year low reached on Dec. 3, the data show.
The metal slumped 35% since reaching a record $1,921.15 in September 2011. Prices will rebound to $1,300 in three months, before declining to $1,110 in a year, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. wrote in a Dec. 5 report.
Gold will average $1,169 this year, the least since 2009, DZ Bank AG forecast in a Dec. 20 report. Credit Suisse Group AG projects an average of $1,180, while Barclays Plc predicts an average of $1,310 this year and $1,190 in 2015.
Six people surveyed last week expect raw sugar to rise this week and three were bearish. The commodity lost 16% last year for a third annual decline and was at 16.15 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York today.
Thirteen of 17 people surveyed anticipated lower corn prices, with two saying the grain will climb and two neutral. Fourteen of 17 said soybeans will drop and three expect gains. Seven forecast wheat to slide, with three bullish and five predicting little change.
Corn slid 40% in Chicago last year, the worst performer in the S&P GSCI commodities gauge, and traded at $4.26 a bushel today. Soybeans fell 8.3% in 2013 and were last at $12.755 a bushel, and wheat traded at $6.1125 a bushel after a 22% annual decline that was the most since 2008.
Eight traders and analysts surveyed expect copper to climb this week, seven were bearish and five neutral. Copper for delivery in three months, the London Metal Exchange’s benchmark contract, fell 7.2% last year and was at $7,302 a ton.
The S&P GSCI lost 2.2% last year, the first drop since 2008. Global economic growth will accelerate to 3.6% this year, up from 2.9% in 2013 and the most in three years, as Europe rebounds from recession, the International Monetary Fund estimates. Christine Lagarde, managing director for the fund, said Dec. 22 that the group is raising its outlook for the U.S. economy.
“This year, there is growth possibly in the developed and developing world,” said James Paulsen, the Minneapolis-based chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, which oversees about $340 billion in assets. “What is better for commodities than to have synchronized global growth? It’s going to be a good year for commodities.”
Gold survey results: Bullish: 15 Bearish: 2 Hold: 4
Copper survey results: Bullish: 8 Bearish: 7 Hold: 5
Corn survey results: Bullish: 2 Bearish: 13 Hold: 2
Soybean survey results: Bullish: 3 Bearish: 14 Hold: 0
Wheat survey results: Bullish: 3 Bearish: 7 Hold: 5
Raw sugar survey results: Bullish: 6 Bearish: 3 Hold: 1
White sugar survey results: Bullish: 6 Bearish: 2 Hold: 2
White sugar premium results: Widen: 5 Narrow: 1 Neutral: 4 *T