Sentiment is never a perfect timing instrument.Yet, with Hedge Fund Bets on Gold at Five-Year Low I am comfortable stating the gold bull market is not over.
Hedge funds are the least bullish on gold in more than five years as speculation about the pace of money printing by central banks whipsawed prices, driving volatility to a 17-month high.
Money managers cut their net-long position by 9 percent to 35,686 futures and options as of May 21, the lowest since July 2007, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Holdings of short contracts rose 6.7 percent to a record 79,416. Net-bullish wagers across 18 U.S.-traded commodities slid 2.1 percent, as investors became more bearish on coffee and wheat.
Investor sentiment is “negative towards gold,” and physical demand has started to slow, Suki Cooper, a New York-based analyst at Barclays Plc, said in a May 24 report. The metal will get “crushed” and trade at $1,100 in a year and below $1,000 in five years as inflation fails to accelerate, Ric Deverell, the head of commodities research at Credit Suisse Group AG, said in London on May 16.
“I would be underweight the commodities at this point until we start seeing a pickup in global growth and a self-sustaining recovery here in the U.S.,” Chad Morganlander, a Florham Park, New Jersey-based fund manager at Stifel Nicolaus & Co., which oversees about $130 billion. “The global economy has been decelerating, and China is struggling.”
Metal Will Get “Crushed” Says Credit Suisse
Unlike copper, gold is not an industrial commodity so a slowing global economy is simply not that pertinent. It appears to me that neither Ric Deverell at Credit Suisse, nor Chad Morganlander at Stifel Nicolaus has a clue about what the fundamental driver for the price of gold is.
Granted sentiment is poor, but bull markets tend to end on good news with extreme positive sentiment (such as we see now with US equities), and bear markets end on bad news and extreme pessimism.
Speculative positioning in gold is at a 5-year low on little over a 30% drop in price. That is hugely negative sentiment for such a routine drop. Bull markets do not end that way. They end with the masses becoming true believers.
I strongly suspect the bull market in gold will not end until after the public embraces gold in a major way.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock