Trader Dan: Hedge funds buying gold again


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Now that there are some concerns about global growth and equities are looking a bit wobbly, gold is getting a bit of a look from some speculators who are cautious at the moment. This can be seen in the return of some hedge funds to the long side of the gold market at the Comex ( although I should note that the gold ETF, GLD, continues to display an amazing lack of interest on the part of big Western-based institutional buyers ).

The blue line shows the NET POSITIONING of the hedge fund community. The Red line shows the gold price. As you can see, as the NET LONG Position has increased, so has the gold price. The two track each other EXACTLY.

Something I do want to note however that really stands out for me when I see this chart and analyze it in detail.

Beginning in 2013, while the relationship between the gold price and the net positioning of the hedge fund community remained intact, something happened. Can you see it?

From that point forward, the build in NET LONG positions by the Hedge funds HAS NOT resulted in successively higher gold prices. The opposite is the case. In other words, it is taking more and more buying by Hedge funds to move the price of gold higher but the end result is that the gold price is at lower levels than such levels of net longs would have taken it in the past.

For instance, look at this week's net long level by the hedge funds. It is currently a bit over 106,000 futures and options combined. A similar level of hedge fund exposure to the gold market back in January 2013 had gold sitting above $1650!

How to explain this ? Simple - While hedge funds have been recently expressing an interest in playing gold from the long side over the Comex, there remains a correspondingly increasing amount of WILLING SELLERS of the metal. To see gold sitting closer to $1200 than it is to $1700 when the net long positions of the hedge fund are at the same level as they were TWO YEARS ago tells me that a very large number of players in gold do not expect high prices in gold to last.
More (incl. graph):

It would be interesting to know who the WILLING SELLERS are. Are they also hedge funds, or central banks (or their proxies)?