File - Gold bars are stacked in the safe deposit boxes room of the Pro Aurum gold house in Munich March 3, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
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Hedge funds extended this year's longest exit from bullish gold bets as slumping prices and investor outflows since June erased $7.16 billion from the value of exchange-traded funds backed by the metal.Investors sold 17.88 metric tons of gold held in ETPs last week, sending holdings to the lowest in five years.Gold fell 0.2 percent Monday to $1,213.40 an ounce in New York.The net-long position in gold declined 22 percent to 55,716 futures and options in the week ended Sept. 16, the lowest since mid-June, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Short positions, or bets on a price decline, increased 18 percent last week to 69,243 contracts.Net-wagers across 18 U.S. traded commodities dropped 2.2 percent to 500,421 contracts as of Sept. 16, the lowest since August 2013, CFTC data show.Bets on higher oil prices rose 9.1 percent to 203,648 contracts, the second straight advance. A measure of net-long positions across 11 agricultural commodities was at 244,803 contracts, up 3.2 percent from a week earlier, the government data show. Holdings are down 78 percent from this year's peak in April.
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