Safanad chief investment strategist John Rutledge was interviewed by Bloomberg News last week on recent developments in the commodities markets. He has consequently been quoted in a Bloomberg story on February 15 on the run-up in gold prices.

By Joe Richter and Marvin G. Perez, Bloomberg News

Hedge funds raised bullish gold wagers to a three-month high as signs of slowing U.S. economic growth spurred demand for haven assets. Billionaire John Paulson maintained his bullion holdings last quarter. The net-long position climbed 17 percent to 69,291 futures and options in the week ended Feb. 11, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Long wagers rose 8.8 percent, the most since March. Net-bullish holdings across 18 U.S.-traded commodities rose 18 percent to 1.07 million contracts, the highest since October 2012, led by silver and coffee.

Investors’ return to bullion after the bear market in 2013 is driving prices to longest rally since 2011. U.S. factory output unexpectedly fell in January and emerging-market equities and currencies weakened. Paulson, the biggest owner of the largest exchange-traded product, left his holdings unchanged in the fourth quarter, a government filing showed. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays Plc say the rebound will falter.

“The run-up in prices in recent weeks has been attached to the meltdown in emerging markets, and adding to that concern is U.S. economic news,” said John Rutledge, a New York-based chief investment strategist at Safanad, which manages more than $4 billion of assets. “It’s still probably too soon to say the trend in gold market has fully turned. You’ve got people who are bears because they see inflation as under control, and others looking further ahead seeing inflation.”