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Gold Losing Appeal for Investors Retreating from Rally Bet

Speculators cut net-long holdings fourth time in five weeks

by Joe Deaux, MineWeb:

Investors are growing more skeptical of gold’s lasting luster.

Hedge funds and other speculators cut their wagers on a bullion rally for the fourth time in five weeks. As traders tire, the metal’s 30-day historical volatility has dropped to the lowest since November. Open interest is also on the decline.

After stunning gains to start the year, bullion has started to lose its momentum. Prices are down about 1% in August as the US economy picks up steam, damping demand for a haven. American payrolls surged in July and wages climbed, pointing to renewed optimism that the jobs market will sustain consumer spending in the second half of 2016.

“People don’t believe in the gold rally,” said Frank Holmes, who oversees about $700 million as chief executive officer of US Global Investors in San Antonio, Texas. “You can see this last dip in gold, the employment numbers are so good. When there is good economic data out, rates rise and the price of gold goes down.”

The net-long position in gold futures and options fell 4.3% to 255 773 contracts in the week ended August 9, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released three days later. The holdings have dropped 11% since July 5, when they reached an all-time high of 286 921.

Bullion has retreated 2.5% since reaching a two-year high on July 6 on the Comex in New York to trade at $1 343.40 an ounce on Monday. Open interest, a tally of outstanding contracts in Comex futures, has slumped 13% since touching a July peak.

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