Paulson & Co. – a Victim of Redemptions?

Today news hit that John Paulson has finally sold a big chunk of his position in GLD. It is not terribly surprising that this happened in the quarter when gold made its low. After Paulson sold his holdings in bank stocks, the group soared, with many of the stocks he had sold at the lows rising by 200% and more therafter. However, this time it has probably less to do with his bad timing, but very likely more with the bad timing of investors in his funds. As the Bloomberg article mentions:


“Paulson & Co., the largest investor in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange-traded product for the metal, pared its stake to 10.2 million shares in the three months ended June 30 from 21.8 million at the end of the first quarter, according to a government filing yesterday. The New York-based firm, which manages $18 billion, cut its ownership for the first time since 2011 “due to a reduced need for hedging,” according to an e-mailed response to questions.”


(emphasis added)

A friend reminded us that Paulson & Co. runs many funds that are denominated in gold. Any redemptions from these funds would therefore reduce the need for hedging. So it seems that Paulson's investors have cut their exposure to the gold denominated versions of his funds at exactly the wrong moment. This is actually something that always tends to happen near market lows. Apparently a number of other prominent hedge funds, including the Soros fund, also cut their exposure in the second quarter. So far they have all been wrong twice: first by holding on until the lows were made, and then by selling just as the market reversed and a rally started. As a matter of fact, we think it is a good thing these investors are gone. They were all late-comers to the gold bull market and their involvement has essentially proved to be a curse rather than a blessing. In fact, one should probably begin to get careful once they decide to get involved again, which is bound to happen at some point. In the meantime, these latest news may well contribute to a developing 'wall of worry' backdrop.


Gold Stocks – Technical Conditions Continue to Improve

In our last update we discussed the idea that the previous downside gap region in the HUI should begin to provide support if the recent advance was the 'real McCoy'. This appears to have happened and hopefully this time the support will manage to hold.

In addition, the HUI has in the meantime already advanced toward the 100-day moving average, which has not happened in a long time. A new MACD buy signal has been given as well. Last but not least, although this is written before the close of trading on Thursday, it appears as though the index may finally be about to make a higher high after putting in its first major higher low last week. This clearly represents a notable change in the market's character.




The HUI daily. The technical backdrop continues to improve – click to enlarge.



Below is another look at the HUI-gold ratio, which has broken its previous downtrend and continues to advance. Currently the ratio is close to a lateral level of resistance, but it seems likely that it will be overcome. An ongoing rise in this ratio is a necessary precondition for the continuation of the rebound.



HUI-gold ratio

The HUI-gold ratio – there are numerous positive divergences, and it appears as though it is finally overcoming its medium term downtrend line for good – click to enlarge.



Gold – Dips Are Getting Bought, Sentiment and Positioning Leave a Lot of Room for Further Improvement

Gold suffered another sharp dip early in Thursday's trading, but once again buying emerged in an area of near term support. Note the surge in trading volume near the intraday lows. The probability that resistance in the $1,350 area will fall is clearly rising – the more often dips elicit new buying and the more often the resistance area is tested, the more likely it will fall.



Dec Gold-30 minute

Gold December futures contract, 30 minute chart. The dip early on Thursday has attracted buyers. Volume near the low was strong, which is often a positive indication – click to enlarge.



Lastly, we want to briefly comment on recent developments on the sentiment and positioning front. The most recent commitments of traders reports show that big speculators are finally reducing their gross short positions in gold futures, leading to a slight increase in their net long position. The net long position had recently fallen back to levels last seen in 2005. Contrary to the widespread idea that an increase in speculative short positions is a positive, we hold that on the contrary, that bulls want to see growth in the net long position held by large speculators. This is so because this is the group that usually gets market direction right and the buying and selling of which is the major driver in the futures market. It only serves as a contrary indicator at extremes. Quite often it happens even near extremes that the large speculator category is beginning to take defensive action shortly before major highs or lows are reached (this happened e.g. in the silver market shortly before it topped in late April 2011).

Since recently a short term extreme in prices and positioning has in fact been reached, a change of opinion by this group of market participants would open the way for at least a major retracement rally. Here is a chart depicting the positioning of futures traders:



CoT gold

Commitments of traders in COMEX gold futures, via sentimentrader. Large speculators have finally stopped adding to their gross shorts and have begun to reverse the recent trend in positioning – click to enlarge.



Along similar lines, we find that the 'public opinion' chart – a composite of various sentiment surveys – remains at a very low level, just slightly off its recent lows. Should the recent rally prove durable, there would be a lot of negative sentiment that could be unwound and provide fuel for additional advances. Similar to the CoTs, negative sentiment is not a bullish indicator per se. It is contrarian only near extremes. Once a trend changes, it can help to support and magnify the new trend.

In other words, this will only be meaningful if a significant trend change is indeed in the works (the obvious caveat to this is that gold has yet to move above significant short term resistance). However, once one can be reasonable certain that a more durable trend change is indeed underway, it will of course be a good thing that the indicator is currently still at such a low level.



Public opinion gold

Gold, public opinion. If the market changes direction, there is a lot of room for sentiment to move from one extreme to the other – click to enlarge.




So far, so good.



Shortly after we finished writing this update, gold has indeed broken out above the $1,350 resistance level. So a few of the above comments have already been superseded. If the breakout holds, there is likely going to be additional upside in the short to medium term.



Charts by: StockCharts, BarCharts, Sentimentrader




Emigrate While You Can... Learn More




Dear readers - we want to once again thank all of you who have supported us with donations.


To donate Bitcoins, use this address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke


Thank you for your support!

3 Responses to “Gold and Gold Stocks Update – John Paulson Sells GLD”

  • ManAboutDallas:

    There’s another side to the GLD redemption : it’s how the Smart Money, i.e. the Soros’ and the Paulson’s, arbitrage their way into physical gold. Soros has done this already, then bought that huge call position in GDX or GDXJ, can’t remember which. Paulson may just be doing the same.

  • worldend666:

    A long time since I saw smiles on the faces of gold investors :)

  • rodney:

    Yes, the close at 30.40 for GDX makes it look like a genuine breakout. Strong volume too.

    Long @ 27.42, looking for opportunities to add some more. This could become another bull market.

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • MponengGold and Gold Stocks – It Gets Even More Interesting
      Technical Backdrop If only we could get a dime for every bearish article on gold that has been published over the past two weeks...but one can't have everything. When a market is down 83% like the HUI gold mining index is, we are generally more interested in trying to find out when it might turn around, since it is a good bet that it is “oversold”. Of course, it if makes it to 90% down, it will still be a harrowing experience in the short term. We like these catastrophes because...
  • resultThe Greatest Racket of All Time
      The Successes of the Global War on Terror One would think that the so-called “Global War on Terror”, which has been given fresh impetus by the Paris attacks, must be going swimmingly. What else could explain the great enthusiasm with which it is pursued? It may be recalled that it started in earnest after the WTC attack – also a declaration of war, as it was put at the time. As is often the case when Islamist fundamentalists strike, the actual attackers immolated themselves on...
  • winterThe Long, Cold Winter Ahead
      Not Immune Cold winds of deflation gust across the autumn economic landscape.  Global trade languishes and commodities rust away like abandoned scrap metal with a visible dusting of frost.  The economic optimism that embellished markets heading into 2015 have cooled as the year moves through its final stretch.   Photo credit: David Byrne   If you recall, the popular storyline since late last year has been that the U.S. economy is moderately improving while the...
  • santaHow Do People Destroy Their Capital?
      There is no Santa Claus I have written previously about the interest rate, which is falling under the planning of the Federal Reserve. The flip side of falling interest rates is the rising price of bonds. Bonds are in an endless, ferocious bull market. Why do I call it ferocious? Perhaps voracious is a better word, as it is gobbling up capital like the Cookie Monster jamming tollhouses into his maw. There are several mechanisms by which this occurs, let’s look at one...
  • oil rigJunk Bonds Under Pressure
      While the Stock Market is Partying ... There are seemingly always “good reasons” why troubles in a sector of the credit markets are supposed to be ignored – or so people are telling us, every single time. Readers may recall how the developing problems in the sub-prime sector of the mortgage credit market were greeted by officials and countless market observers in the beginning in 2007.   Photo credit: Getty Images   At first it was assumed that the most highly...
  • I'll have TurkeyThe Plane Incident in Syria
      A Strange Event The topic of the SU-24 Russian plane shot down by Turkey over the weekend in Syria has been discussed all over the media ad nauseam by now, but we want to add a few observations and suggestions of our own. Some have perhaps not received the attention they possibly deserve.   Image of Russian jet shortly after it was hit by a Turkish missile. Luckily someone was promptly at hand to make a qualitatively acceptable video of the incident. As is well known, cameramen...
  • Young-European-Jihadists-ChappatteAngry Belgian Muslims and the Price of Welfare Statism
      Ill-Tempered Mohammedans in the Socialist Paradise In the wake of recent revelations about the identities of the morons involved in the horrific Paris attacks (happily, most of them shuffled off the mortal coil as well, thereby improving the aggregate degree of moral clarity and intelligence in the world), a friend pointed us to an article at Unz Review that asks: “Why Does Belgium Have Such Angry Muslims?” Our instinctive, immediate reaction was to argue that the bland, boring...
  • Chart-intraday averageCan Investors Trust the New Gold Fixing?
      Statistical Analysis of the New Gold Fixing   Since 20 March 2015 a new gold price fixing organized by the London Bullion Market Association has been in operation. It has replaced the previous price determination process, which was in place for more than a century and became subject to criticism as it was highly vulnerable to manipulation. Has manipulation now ceased?   Gold fixing at N.M. Rothchild and Sons offices in London. The first fixing took place there on 12 September...
  • BN-GO061_WAJ_Mo_J_20150121165559US Money Supply Growth Finally Begins to Crack
      Breaking Below the Shelf In our recent missive on junk bonds, we inter alia discussed the fact that the growth rate of the narrow money supply aggregate M1 had declined rather noticeably from its peak in 2011. Here is a link to the chart. As we wrote:   “We also have confirmation of a tightening monetary backdrop from the narrow money supply aggregate M1, the annualized growth rate of which has been immersed in a relentless downtrend since peaking at nearly 25% in 2011....
  • trudeau-harperIncumbents Swept from Office Around the World
      Election Trends in 2015 – No Incumbent is Safe In the political sphere, this year has started with a bang, when Syriza won the Greek parliamentary election. All of Europe's attention was focused on this outcome and its aftermath over the coming six months or so. As it turned out, it was a bad omen for political incumbents nearly everywhere. More recently, we have seen the government of Stephen Harper in Canada go down in flames, with its opponents winning an unexpected landslide...

Support Acting Man




Own physical gold and silver outside a bank

Realtime Charts


Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from]


THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Buy Silver Now!
Buy Gold Now!