Last time hedge funds were this bullish the gold price was $1,900

On Monday, gold was trending higher following a disappointing week when the metal was being punished by a stronger dollar and rekindled expectations of a rate hike in the US.

In heavy trading gold futures in New York  for delivery in June, the most active contract, advanced to a high of  $1,243.30 an ounce in morning dealings before paring some of those gains.

Despite recent weakness – gold hit a 13-month high of $1,274 an ounce in March – gold remains up 17% in 2016.

Despite recent weakness hedge funds haven't lost the courage of their convictions that gold will continue to rally in 2016.

Large futures speculators or "managed money" investors such as hedge funds have not lost the courage of their convictions that gold will continue to rally in 2016.

Hedge funds dramatically raised bearish bets on gold during the final months of 2015 pushing the overall market into a  net short position – bets that gold could be bought back at a lower price in the future – for the first time since at least 2006, when government first started to collect the data.

This year however hedge funds have been big-time buyers pushing overall positioning firmly back in the black.

Last week hedge funds pushed longs – bets that the gold price will rise – to the highest level since the beginning of August 2011. That was of course the month gold futures peaked at an all-time high above $1,900 an ounce.

According to the CFTC's weekly Commitment of Traders data up to April 12 released on Friday speculators once again added to long positions to reach 21.5 million ounces or 607 tonnes.

At the same time speculators cut their short positions which saw net longs positions grow to 18.4 million ounces. That figure is the highest since October 2012.

Overall managed money position has swung more than 675 tonnes since December's record net short.