The net-long position climbed 25 percent to 113,911 futures and options in the week ended Feb. 25, the highest since December 2012, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Net-bullish holdings across 18 U.S.-traded commodities advanced 16 percent to 1.45 million contracts, the most since April 2011. Coffee wagers reached a 33-month high.
Investors’ return to gold after the bear market in 2013 drove prices 6.6 percent higher last month, the most since July. The U.S. economy grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter than previously estimated, giving the expansion less momentum heading into 2014. China’s yuan tumbled the most on record on Feb. 28, adding to concern about emerging-market growth and spurring demand for alternative assets.
“There are some major concerns about the erosion of the U.S. economy,” said Jeffrey Sica, who helps oversee more than $1 billion of assets as president of Sica Wealth Management in Morristown, New Jersey. “The devaluation of currencies will continue, and it’s going to further accelerate the upside appreciation of gold. As we see more trouble out of China and emerging markets, it’s going to become more of a safe-haven investment than it’s been in the past year and a half.”