Hedge Funds Boost Gold Bets

Sep 9 2013 | 9:59am ET

Hedge funds are pouring money into gold futures as a safe haven in advance of possible U.S. airstrikes on Syria.

Net-long positions in the precious metal rose 3.6% as short bets dropped 8.6% in the week ended Sept. 3, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said. The net-long position is the highest its been since January, prior to a huge drop in gold prices.

"Whenever you have a period of unrest, war or investor fear, people go to gold," Dan Denbow, manager of the USAA Precious Metals & Minerals Fund, told Bloomberg News.

On the whole, investors moved away from commodities, with net-long positions in a basket of 18 U.S.-traded contracts dropping 0.3%. Much of that decline is due to investors fleeing copper; bullish bets on that metal fell 37% on the week. Net-long positions across 11 agricultural contracts dropped 1.3%.

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