* Shumway, Loeb and Highfields added gold positions
* Miners like Novagold and mining ETF also bought
* Early bulls Soros, Mindich trimmed gold ETF
By Aaron Pressman
BOSTON, Nov 15 Even as gold was approaching
record highs during the third quarter, more of the best-known
hedge fund managers were placing bets on the precious metal.
Former Goldman Sachs trader Chris Shumway's fund added 2.1
million shares of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD.P) and Dan Loeb's
Third Point LLC bought 115,000 shares during the third quarter,
according to securities filings on Monday. Highfields Capital
added call options on 1.6 million shares of the gold ETF and
calls on 200,000 shares of the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF
At the same time, some of the early hedge fund gold
pioneers were trimming their stakes. George Soros sold over
half of one million shares of the gold ETF to finish the
quarter with 4.7 million shares, while Eric Mindich reduced his
Eton Park Capital's stake by 2 million shares to 4.6 million.
John Paulson maintained a 31.5 million share holding of the ETF
through the quarter.
Gold has risen sharply this year. The SPDR trust is up 23
percent so far in 2010. Spot gold hit a record of $1,424.10
last week, without adjusting for inflation. Gold would still
almost have to double in price to reach its 1980 record after
The metal staged its largest one-day drop in 4-1/2 months
on Friday, retreating from last week's record on concern the
market had become overbought and as talk of a potential
interest rate rise in China knocked commodities sharply lower.
(Reporting by Aaron Pressman; Editing by Bernard Orr)