Short Sellers Pull Back on Gold-Mining Stocks

In the two-week short interest reporting period that ended September 30, the price of gold slipped by about 3.6%. For the year to date, gold futures have gained about 24%, posting an all-time high at $2,089.20 in July. Early Monday, the yellow metal traded at around $1,860 per ounce.

Short interest decreased on four of five gold-mining stocks and on all three gold exchange-traded funds we follow in the two-weeks through September 30.

Newmont Corp. (NYSE: NEM) saw short interest fall by 9% to 8.2 million shares, which represents about 1% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. In the two-week short interest period, the share price fell by about 6.1%. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.00 to $72.22, and shares closed at $62.82 on Friday, up by about 1.8% for the day.

Barrick Gold Corp.’s (NYSE: GOLD) short interest fell by 4% in the two weeks through September 30. About 17.2 million shares were short, roughly 1% of the miner’s total float. Shares dropped by about 6.3% in the period, and the stock closed at $28.05 on Friday, up about 2.9% for the day. The 52-week trading range is $12.65 to $31.22. Days to cover remained at one.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) short sellers dumped about 10% of their positions over the period. Some 34.2 million shares were short, or about 2.4% of the stock’s float. Shares closed at $17.23 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $4.82 to $17.50 and up by about 2.6% for the day. The stock dropped about 4.7% in the two-week period to September 30. Days to cover remained at two.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) saw short interest jump by 14% in the two weeks. About 1.2% (2.9 million) of the company’s shares were short, and days to cover increased from two to three. Shares closed up about 5.3% Friday, at $82.69 in a 52-week range of $31.00 to $89.23. The stock price decreased by about 7.3% during the short interest reporting period.

Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) dropped about 5.2% from its share price during the two weeks through September 30. Short interest plunged by 30% to about 14.2 million shares, or 1.1% of the stock’s float. Days to cover fell from three to one. Shares closed at $9.10 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $2.72 to $10.32.

The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDX) saw short interest dip by 4% in the two-week period to 42.9 million shares. Days to cover remained at two. The shares dropped by about 8.5% during the two weeks and closed Friday at $40.78. The 52-week range is $16.18 to $45.78.

The VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDXJ) saw short interest decrease by 12% to 6.5 million shares. Days to cover remained at one. Shares tumbled by about 9.8% during the two-week period. The 52-week range is $19.52 to $65.95, and shares closed Friday at $59.50, up by about 5.3% for the day.

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA: GLD) saw short interest decrease by about 21% during the two-week period to 12 million shares. Shares slipped by about 3.5% during the time. The 52-week range is $136.12 to $194.45, and shares closed up about 1.8% Friday at $181.08.

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