My Sept. 7 post noted that gold had broken out from a consolidation triangle, a move that often forecasts still higher prices. And, higher prices we got, with gold hitting an intraday high just short of $1,012.00 in the New York market on Friday, Sept. 11. Silver followed suit, closing at $16.72. However, it was learned Friday that the large commercials (LCs) increased their COMEX short positions in gold to an all-time record high of 270,797 contracts. The previous record was 252,740 contracts, set in February 2008.
It needs to be noted that the reporting cutoff was Tuesday, which means that the LCs had three additional trading days since the report to add to (or reduce) their positions. The common guess is that they increased their shorts, but we will not know until Friday, Sept. 18.
Increases in the LCs’ short positions often have been harbingers of price declines, sometimes precipitous declines over a few days. However, the LCs have not always enjoyed lower prices after increasing their short positions. In fact, the previous record 252,740 contracts in February 2008 came just before sharp price increases. Although the LCs often get it right and get to cover their short positions at lower prices, that is not always the case.
Gold’s mighty move from the summer of 2005 through the spring of 2006, basically a move from $450 to $700, occurred while the LCs carried large short positions, resulting huge losses for the LCs. So, the big boys are not always on the right side of the moves.
If the LCs always increase their short positions on price rises, there have to be times when they suffer losses because gold and silver are in long-term bull markets. Could this be one of those times?
Gold is up three-fold since 2001, from $250 to $1,000. Silver’s 2001 low was just above $4 to just short of $17. This is a great gold/silver bull market, and I don’t see it ending any time soon. If you’re in, buy the dips. If you’re not yet holding physical gold or silver, buy now. Get comfortable with the process. See that the metal you’re getting is real, not electronic impulses on silica bubbles.