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    bradley associates financial solutions blog Hedge Funds Most Bearish Ever on Copper, Favor Gold: Commodities

    Hedge funds are making the biggest bet against copper on record as global inventories expand to a nine-year high, while concern that Europe’s debt crisis will spread spurred the biggest gain in gold bets since 2008.

    Speculators raised net-short positions in U.S. copper futures and options by 53 percent to 25,719 contracts in the week ended March 19, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data that begins in 2006. A jump in bullish bets on corn, gold and natural gas boosted overall holdings across 18 raw materials for a second consecutive week.

    Copper prices are heading for a second consecutive monthly loss in what would be the longest slump since the end of 2011. Stockpiles monitored by exchanges in London, Shanghai andNew York stand at about 873,000 metric tons, or almost five months of North American demand, and Barclays Plc is forecasting a second annual surplus. Gold climbed for three weeks, the longest rally in six months, amid turmoil over Cyprus’s efforts to win a bailout to avert its financial collapse.

    “We’re sitting on unprecedented stockpiles of copper and other metals,” said Jack Ablin, the chief investment officer of BMO Private Bank in Chicago, which oversees about $66 billion of assets. “Demand has been pretty tepid for industr...

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