Commodities & Metals

Short Sellers Take Profits on Gold-Mining Stocks

In the two-week short interest reporting period that ended November 30, the price of gold slipped by about 5.6%. For the year to date, gold prices have gained approximately 19% and posted an all-time high at $2,089.20 in July. In early trading Thursday, the yellow metal traded at around $1,852 per ounce.

Short interest decreased on four of five gold-mining stocks and one of three exchange-traded funds we track.

Newmont Corp. (NYSE: NEM) saw short interest drop by 6% to about 50 million shares, which represents about 1.0% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price added about 4.6%. Its 52-week range is $33.00 to $72.22, and shares closed at $59.58 on Wednesday and traded up about 1% Thursday morning.

Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: GOLD) short interest increased by 6% in the two weeks through November 30. About 15.6 million shares were short, less than 1% of the miner’s total float, and days to cover remained at one. Shares dropped by about 10.3% in the period, and the stock closed at $23.36 on Wednesday. Its 52-week range is $12.65 to $31.22.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) short sellers dumped 19% of their positions in the two-week period. Some 25 million shares were short, or about 1.7% of the stock’s float. Days to cover remained at two. Shares closed at $24.46 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $4.82 to $25.43. Freeport stock added about 16% in the two-week period to November 30.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) saw short interest tumble by 31% in the two weeks to November 30. Less than 1% (1.3 million) of the company’s shares were short. Days to cover fell from two to one. Shares closed Wednesday at $70.76, in a 52-week range of $31.00 to $89.23. The stock price declined by about 10.3% during the short interest reporting period.

Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) short interest declined by 25% to about 10.8 million shares, or less than 1% of the stock’s float, during the two-week reporting period. The share price lost 10.6% in the period, and days to cover remained at one. The stock closed at $7.31 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $2.72 to $10.32.

The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDX) short interest dipped by 4% in the two-week period to around 25.6 million shares. The share price decreased by about 8.8% during the period and closed Wednesday at $35.40. The 52-week range is $16.18 to $45.78.

The VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDXJ) short interest soared by 63% for the two weeks to 5.2 million shares. The share price fell by 8.3% during the period. The 52-week range is $19.52 to $65.95, and shares closed Wednesday at $51.44.

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA: GLD) short interest was not available for the latest two-week period. The share price fell by nearly 6% during the period. The 52-week range is $136.12 to $194.45, and shares closed Wednesday at $172.50.