Gold price jumps most since Trump election
Gold bulls were enjoying their best day in nearly two months on Thursday as the metal fights back following a relentless sell-off since the election of Donald Trump as the next US president.
Gold for delivery in February, the most active contract on the Comex market in New York, hit a high of $1,160.60 an ounce in lunchtime trade, up $19.70 or 1.7% from yesterday's close.
If the metal can close at these levels it would be the best one-day performance since November 2. Gold is now up more than $36 an ounce or more than 3% since hitting an 11-month low on December 15.
Hedge funds scrambling to cover these short positions helps to explain today's rise in heavier than usual holiday trading volumes
In July hedge funds or so-called managed money investors in gold futures and options built up long positions – bets on a rising price – to 28.7 million ounces, the highest on record.
But starting in September hedge funds started cutting back on bullish bets, and only accelerated dumping of the metal since November 8. According to the CFTC's latest weekly commitments of traders data net longs are down more than 80% from their highs.
Significantly gross shorts – bets that gold could be bought back cheaper in future – have doubled since the Trump victory. Hedge funds scrambling to cover these short positions helps to explain today's rise which is also happening in heavier than usual volume, especially during holiday season trading.