Gold broke $1,800 an ounce recently and is still hovering well above $1,700 as weaker paper currencies coupled with general economic uncertainty have made the precious metal an attractive hedge. However, the party may be over, even if for a little while, traders say.
On Aug. 2, holdings by large gold speculators — namely hedge funds — hit “readings that are the highest ever in our records,” states a Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysis, CNBC reports.
Merrill Lynch data shows that notional value of gold contracts held by speculators rose to $40.6 billion from $38.1 billion in just a week.
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Plus hedge funds may need some money down the road and few assets may be more tempting to ditch than gold, which they’ve been buying all year.
“The risk to the latest bull leg being kicked out is redemptions at large hedge funds that have a significant stake in gold,” says Brian Kelly of Brian Kelly Capital, CNBC reports.
Financier George Soros has reportedly sold off a lot of his gold and market watchers fear others will follow.
“Truth is no one else knows where else to put their money, but as soon as a Soros-like figure exits his massive gold position, there will be a huge panic sell-off,” one trader tells CNBC.
“Just in terms of simple mean reversion, it looks like we could easily snap back to the $1,550-$1,600 level at the blink of an eye.”
Still, others say, as long as volatility and uncertainty plague stocks and currencies, gold will be in demand.
"We're seeing traders are starting to get tired from the whipsaws in the currency markets and want to have a tangible asset that is gold," says Adam Klopfenstein, senior market strategist with MF Global, according to CNNMoney.
"Everyone wants a ticket to the show."
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