April ETF Short Report: GLD Shorts Rise 83%

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May 10, 2013
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It’s no surprise that a spike in GLD short interest was part of gold’s meltdown in April.

 

Short interest in the world’s biggest exchange-traded gold bullion spiked by 83 percent in April, another piece of the bearish tale last month that included huge outflows and a nearly 8 percent decline in gold that meant many of those short-sellers made out like bandits as the 12-year rally in the yellow metal faltered.

Assets in the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (NYSEArca: GLD) fell almost 19 percent last month, and another $1.25 billion has flowed out of the fund so far in May, according to data compiled by IndexUniverse. April’s spike in GLD short interest followed a 40 percent drop in shorts in March. GLD’s short interest amounts to almost 8 percent of the ETF’s total float in April—almost double March’s percentage.

GLD has bled more than $14.5 billion in assets this year, the consequence of growing views that even as the Federal Reserve keeps in place its five-year post-crash project to hold down borrowing rates and weaken the dollar, the world’s biggest economy is slowly climbing out of the doldrums, which has quelled the anxiety that has fueled gold’s rally.

Other significant short-selling developments included a 22 percent drop in the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (NYSEArca: EEM)—a reflection no doubt of the bullish sentiment that’s permeating equities markets this year and helping lift major stock indexes to record-highs.

Additionally, short interest in the CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (NYSEArca: FXY) rose by more than a fifth last month, a reflection in the ETF market that investors are trying to take advantage of some of the Japanese government’s attempts to weaken the yen. The number of FXY shares being sold short in March fell by more than 16 percent.

 

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