Gold-Mining Stocks Have Short Sellers Mostly Cautious

In the two-week short interest reporting period that ended August 31, the price of gold rose by about 1.3%. For the year to date, gold futures have gained about 28% and posted an all-time high at $2,089.20 in July. Early Wednesday the yellow metal trades at around $1,954 per ounce.

Short interest decreased on four of five gold-mining stocks and rose on two of three gold ETFs in the two weeks through August 31.

Newmont Corp. (NYSE: NEM) saw short interest fall by 7% to 9.1 million shares, which represent about 1.1% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price rose by 5.4%. Its 52-week range is $33.00 to $72.22, and shares closed at $66.49 on Thursday, down by about 2.5% for the day.

Barrick Gold Corp.’s (NYSE: GOLD) short interest soared by 35% in the two weeks to August 31. About 23 million shares were short, about 1.3% of the miner’s total float. Days to cover rose from one to two. Shares added about 10.2% in the period, and the stock closed at $30.10 on Thursday, down about 1.2% for the day. The 52-week trading range is $12.65 to $31.22.

Freeport-McMoran Inc. (NYSE: FCX) short sellers dropped 9% from their positions over the period. Some 31.6 million shares were short, or about 1.6% of the stock’s float. Freeport stock added about 13.3% in the latter half of August. Days to cover remained at two. Shares closed at $15.57 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $4.82 to $16.41, down about 2.3% for the day.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) saw short interest tumble by 20% in the two weeks. About 1.3% of the company’s shares are short, or 3.1 million. Days to cover remained at three. The stock increased by about 4.6% during the short interest reporting period. Shares closed Thursday at $82.11, in a 52-week range of $31.00 to $84.66.

Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) added about 3.1% to its share price during the period. Short interest decreased by 6% to about 15.2 million shares or 1.2% of the stock’s float. Days to cover remained at one. Shares closed at $8.91 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $2.72 to $10.21.

The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDX) saw short interest rise by 4% in the period to 44.9 million shares. Days to cover remained at two. The shares gained about 4.8% during the two weeks, and they closed Thursday at $41.64. The 52-week range is $16.18 to $45.78.

The VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDXJ) saw short interest decrease by 5% to 7.3 million shares. Days to cover remained at one. Shares rose by about 3.8% during the short interest period. The 52-week range is $19.52 to $65.95, and shares closed Thursday at $59.03, down about 1.4% for the day.

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA: GLD) saw short interest increase by about 2.2% during the period to 13.5 million shares. The stock rose by about 1.3% during the two-week period. The 52-week range is $136.12 to $194.45, and shares closed down 0.3% Thursday at $182.46.

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