Short Sellers Jostle for Position on Gold-Mining Stocks

In the two-week short interest reporting period that ended October 30, the price of gold slipped by about 1.5%. For the year to date, gold futures have gained approximately 22%, after posting an all-time high at $2,089.20 in July. Shortly before noon Wednesday, the yellow metal traded at around $1,863 per ounce.

Short interest decreased on three of five gold-mining stocks and increased on two of three gold exchange-traded funds in the two-weeks ended October 30.

Newmont Corp. (NYSE: NEM) saw short interest fall by 187% to 8.0 million shares. That represents about 1.0% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. In the two-week short interest period, the share price slipped by about 0.3%. Its 52-week range is $33.00 to $72.22, and shares traded at $63.55 on Wednesday.

Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: GOLD) short interest rose by 4% in the two weeks to the end of October. About 16.47 million shares were short, less than 1% of the miner’s total float. Days to cover remained at one. Shares dropped by about 3.7% in the period and traded at $25.50 on Wednesday. The stock’s 52-week range is $12.65 to $31.22.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) short sellers dumped about 21% of their positions over the two-week period. Some 25.1 million shares were short, or about 1.7% of the stock’s float. The stock increased by about 0.8% in the two-week period, and days to cover remained at two. Shares traded at $19.40 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $4.82 to $21.29.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) saw short interest decrease by 13% in the latter half of October. About 1.1% (2.6 million) of the company’s shares were short. Days to cover remained at three. The stock price declined by about 4.3% during the short interest reporting period. Shares traded Wednesday at $72.75, in a 52-week range of $31.00 to $89.23.

Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) short interest rose by 5% to about 11.3 million shares, or 0.9% of the stock’s float, during the two-week reporting period. The share price tumbled by 13.4% and days to cover remained at one. The stock traded at $7.65 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $2.72 to $10.32.

The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDX) saw short interest fall by 6% in the two-week period to 40.9 million shares. Days to cover remained at two. The share price dropped by about 7% during the period and traded Wednesday at $37.00. The 52-week range is $16.18 to $45.78.

The VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDXJ) saw short interest increase by 5% to 6.5 million shares. Days to cover dropped from two to one. Shares lost about 9% during the two-week period. The 52-week range is $19.52 to $65.95, and shares traded on Wednesday at $53.10.

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA: GLD) saw short interest rise by about 11.3% during the two-week period to 8.8 million shares. The share price dipped by about 1.3% in that time. The 52-week range is $136.12 to $194.45, and shares traded on Wednesday at $174.90.

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