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Money Managers Optimistic on Metals

Release Date: 
Monday, January 23, 2012

Gold reached a six-week high as the euro gained and commodity prices rose, trading at $1673.80 per ounce at 6:47 a.m. Pacific Time on the New York Spot Market with silver at $32.40 per ounce. Gold has risen for three straight weeks and is up approximately seven percent for the year to date.

Money managers raised bullish bets on gold futures to two-month highs while positions in silver rose to their highest level since November 2011, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. "It's a play on a possible demand recovery," said Spencer Patton, Chicago-based chief investment officer for Steel Vine Investments LLC.

Money managers were bullish on both base and precious metals, increasing their combined net-long positions in five precious and industrial metals by 13 percent in the week ended Jan. 17., "The slow grind higher in gold speculative positioning on Comex reflects the cautious optimism that appears to dominate market sentiment at the moment," said UBS in a research commentary. "That investors have become friendlier to gold is clear…longs are likely to remain more tentative than aggressive given the still-uncertain macroeconomic environment."

Indian demand for physical gold grew as the stronger rupee increased local buyers' purchasing power. Chinese markets were closed with the arrival of the lunar New Year.

(Sources: "Speculators Raise Wagers on Higher Metals by Most Since July: Commodities," Bloomberg, January 23, 2012; "PRECIOUS-Gold hits 6-week high as euro gains," Reuters, January 23, 2012)

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