Being a "closed end fund" just means that new shares are not created/destroyed as a consequence of daily purchases/redemptions, as would occur with a mutual fund, where the only seller/buyer is the fund itself. For CEFs, you can sell/buy on the market. This doesn't prohibit the fund itself from being a seller/buyer of fund shares; only the small print in the fund prospectus/objectives would bear on that. Many CEFs that I know of buy/sell their own shares on an ongoing basis, a few only issue new shares in announced large blocks, fewer still just run with the initial shares offered.
Whether doing so in an ongoing fashion is above-board and honest, or in some fashion deceptive, is in the eye of the individual; the market certainly doesn't seem to penalize CEFs that *routinely* issue new shares (see symbol PGP as an example).
The 5.4m shares that you noted were sold in 2013 were sold at prices "above NAV". So net of commissions and expenses, from the sale they were able to obtain cash to purchase raw holdings for more than N shares by just creating and selling N shares. This has both pluses and minuses for existing shareholders, but generally improves their position at the expense of the new purchasers, who are paying higher than NAV. Should the right market conditions present themselves, the fund could conceivably make out by *buying* funds shares on the market for *less* than NAV.
Possibilities: 1) One is in error. Probably not, as you can see this day after day. 2) The two sources use different "start" and "stop" times. Could be this as old time systems may still report based on the London AM/PM fixes, others use the COMEX/NYMEX hours (trading days officially end at 1:15 EST in the afternoon, even though the electronic trading continues unabated). 3) One of your two quotes could be the 1st month's futures price, while the other is current spot. (I think I've notice one of the two networks reporting *both* prices, one in the scrolling ticker, and one in a set of flip boxes).
But really; doest it matter? When you're waiting on multi-hundred dollar moves, a few bucks offset here or there is a nit. ;)
Hey bejupete, this is meant in kindest fashion (I suffer from the same maladies, too)
a) I think you meant to say Death "Knell" with a K, which is either a noun (the somber sound of a bell being rung to note a sad occasion) or a verb (the act of ringing said bell during said occasion)
b) as a verb or a noun, a Death Knell is something that one does, or hears, but it is not something that you are "in".
back @ you: by "investors" do you mean little onsey-twosey individual people, or are you talking sovereign wealth? The size of money in play, and the motivations driving their actions, are quite different.