NEW YORK, Aug 19, 2011 (Dow Jones) --Large funds, including hedge funds, cut their holdings in Comex copper futures and options for a third week during the week ended Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Fund managers in the latest week sold 7,470 long positions, or bets prices will rise, and added 629 short positions, or bets prices will fall.
This reduced the net position by 76% to 2,536, from 10,634 contracts a week earlier. The net position is the difference between long contracts and short contracts and is considered an indicator of trader sentiment.
Such market participants have slashed their net long by 91% since the week ended July 26. The bearish turn has coincided with copper's steep plunge from just short of $4.50 a pound, to below the psychologically important $4 mark, as worries grew about the health of the global economy.
The industrial metal is sensitive to the growth outlook because of its uses in a wide range of goods including consumer electronics, cars and trucks, electrical wiring and piping.