NEW YORK, Aug 12, 2011 (Dow Jones) -- Large funds, including hedge funds, cut Comex copper futures and options holdings in the week ended Tuesday, according to Friday afternoon data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
Fund managers sold 16,082 long positions, or bets prices will rise, and added 629 short positions, or bets prices will fall.
This reduced the net position by 61% to 10,634 contracts, from 27,345 contracts a week earlier. The net position is the difference between long contracts and short contracts and is considered an indicator of trader sentiment.
The sharp reduction in fund copper holdings came as the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted some of the steepest declines seen since the 2008 financial crisis.
Copper, an industrial metal widely used in such goods as iPhones, air conditioners and cars, tends to be highly sensitive to stock market moves, which are considered a leading indicator for economic growth.