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Timing GLD Using Gold Futures Position Data

March 10, 2022 • Posted in Commodity Futures, Gold

A subscriber asked whether traders should enter a position in gold, as proxied by SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), whenever Commercial gold futures traders are net long and Non-commercial gold future traders (Speculators) are net short. To investigate, we:

  • Obtain from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission weekly gold Commitments of Traders (CoT) legacy reports (futures only) as available. Terminology in the legacy reports matches that in the question posed.
  • For each week, calculate the net (long minus short) contract positions separately for Commercial traders and Speculators.
  • Identify the weeks when Commercial traders are net long and Speculators are net short. Because these two groups are largely trading counterparties, they are nearly always opposite in net positions (in other words, the specified setup is not much different from just requiring that Commercial traders be net long).
  • Examine future GLD returns for these weeks.

Using weekly CoT gold futures position data since January 1986 and matching weekly GLD prices since inception in late November 2004, both through late February 2022, we find that: (more…)

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