Commodities & Metals

Short Sellers Can't Get Enough Gold-Mining, Gold ETF Shares

In the two-week short interest reporting period that ended July 31, the price of gold rose by nearly 9%. For the year to date, gold futures have gained about 25.4% and posted an all-time high at $2,089.20 per ounce last week. Early Wednesday the yellow metal traded around $1,940 per ounce.

Short interest increased on four of five gold-mining stocks and on all three gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) we follow in the latter half of July.

Newmont Corp. (NYSE: NEM) saw short interest rise by 1% to 10.9 million shares, which represents about 1.4% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. In the short interest period, the stock’s share price rose by about 11.4%. Its 52-week range is $33.00 to $72.22 and shares traded at $63.72 early Wednesday.

Barrick Gold Corp.’s (NYSE: GOLD) short interest rose by 3% in the two-week period. About 15.1 million shares were short. Days to cover remained at one. Shares added about 6.7% in the period, and the stock traded at $26.62 early Wednesday. Its 52-week range is $12.65 to $30.69.

Freeport-McMoran Inc. (NYSE: FCX) short sellers sliced 18% from their positions over the period. Some 36 million shares were short, or about 2.5% of the stock’s float. Shares traded at $14.09 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $4.82 to $14.76. Freeport stock dropped by about 4.5% in the two-week period. Days to cover fell from three to two.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) saw short interest increase by 19% in the two weeks. About 1.1% of the company’s shares were short, or 2.7 million. Days to cover remained at two. Shares were trading at $78.77, in a 52-week range of $31.00 to $84.66. The stock gained about 20.8% during the short interest period.

Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) added 22.3% to the share price during the final two weeks of July. Short interest increased by 3% to about 17.3 million shares, or 1.4% of the stock’s float. Days to cover remained at one. Shares were trading at $8.71, in a 52-week range of $2.72 to $10.21.

The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDX) saw short interest jump by 22% in the two-week period to 43.6 million shares. Days to cover remained at two. The shares added 11% during the two weeks and traded Wednesday morning at $40.15. The 52-week range is $16.18 to $45.78.

The VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDXJ) saw short interest soar by 37% to 7.9 million shares. Days to cover remained at one. Shares added about 12.2% during the two-week period. The 52-week range is $19.52 to $65.95, and shares traded at $57.07.

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA: GLD) had short interest rise by more than 24% during the period to 13.3 million shares. Shares added 8.9% during the two weeks. The 52-week range is $136.12 to $194.45, and shares traded at $182.31.