Hedge funds raised bullish gold wagers by the most since July and sold copper holdings as emerging-market turmoil boosted concern the global economy will slow and increased demand for precious metals as a haven.
The net-long position in gold jumped 40 percent to 60,672 futures and options in the week ended Jan. 28, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Long wagers rose 5.5 percent to the highest since September, and short bets dropped 16 percent. Net-bullish copper holdings tumbled 62 percent as shorts gained by the most in 11 weeks.
About $1.9 trillion was erased from the value of global equities last month as China’s economy slowed and the Federal Reserve further cut stimulus on Jan. 29. South Africa’s central bank increased interest rates, Turkey more than doubled them and Argentina’s peso dropped 19 percent against the dollar in January, more than any other currency tracked by Bloomberg. The tumult drove gold to its first monthly gain since August and copper to the worst start to a year since 2010.