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NEW YORK, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Jana Partners dissolved its share stake in the world's biggest gold exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the second quarter of 2016 as bullion prices rose to two-year highs, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings showed on Monday.
The move came after Jana Partners, led by activist investor Barry Rosenstein, returned to gold in the first quarter along with other investors as spot gold prices saw their best quarterly performance in nearly three decades.
In the second quarter, Jana Partners dissolved the 50,000 shares of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's biggest gold ETF, that it bought in the first quarter when they were valued at $5.89 million.
Inflows into SPDR increased by 16 percent to a three-year high in the second quarter.
Higher gold prices typically attract investment money to bullion, often seen as a hedge against inflation, and spot prices rose around 7 percent in the second quarter to $1,358.20 an ounce, extending on the 16 percent gains of the first quarter.
It was a choppy quarter, however, with prices down in May but up again in June, when the U.K. voted to leave the European Union.
"Gold had rallied quite significantly by that point of time so you had people questioning their entry point," said Steven Dunn, executive director, head of distribution for ETF Securities (US).
Jana may have used the opportunity to take profits, Dunn said.
Meanwhile, inflows of the eight gold-back ETFs followed by Reuters rose to the highest in nearly three years.
Monday's 13F filings showed CI Investments Inc, an investment manager of Toronto-based CI Financial Corp , reported earlier this month that it increased its shares in gold.
In the second quarter, it more than doubled its shares in SPDR Gold Trust to 9.4 million shares worth $1.19 billion, becoming the second-biggest shareholder by June 30.
It was the sixth-largest shareholder in the first quarter.
Caxton Corp remained out of gold for the third straight quarter. (Editing by Bernard Orr)