ATI Lock Out Continues, Paulson Abandons Gold ETF

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A major gold bull reduced its investment in the largest gold ETF just in time, and a specialty steel maker locked workers out over healthcare contributions this week.

Paulson Partially Dodges Gold Bullet

Hedge fund Paulson & Co. cut its stake in the world’s biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund in the second quarter of 2015, after holding it unchanged for six straight quarters, just before prices took a tumble, a filing showed on Friday.

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The move came just before spot gold prices tumbled 6.6% in July, their weakest monthly performance in more than two years after a steep selloff in Shanghai and New York, and on expectations for the Federal Reserve to raise rates as early as September.

Paulson & Co., led by longtime gold bull John Paulson, cut its stake in SPDR Gold Trust by 1 million shares to 9.2 million shares worth $1.04 billion in the quarter ending June 30, according to the 13F-HR filing.

The sharp reduction came as SPDR holdings fell by 3.5% in the quarter

ATI Locks Out Workers Over Healthcare Premium Contributions

400 Workers protested outside of Allegheny Technologies, Inc.‘s plant in Beaver County, Pa. The workers were picketing a lock out of 2,200 United Steelworkers of America-represented employees at plants in six states today.

The disagreement between ATI and the union centers on employee health benefits. ATI had proposed monthly premium contributions starting at $125 a month and increasing to $215 by the end of a proposed four-year contract. That would be coupled with higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

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Negotiations hit a wall last week when the Pittsburgh-based specialty steel manufacturer proposed a “last, best and final offer” to the union and threatened the lockout if workers did not accept the proposal by Monday.

The union balked at concessions sought by ATI.


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