January 19, 2018 / 9:50 PM / 6 months ago

Speculators boost bearish bets on U.S. dollar -CFTC, Reuters

 (Adds details, table, graphic, byline)
    By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
    NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Speculators' net short dollar
bets rose in the latest week to the largest position since
mid-October, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity
Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.
    The value of the net short dollar positions, derived from
net positions of International Monetary Market speculators in
the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and
Australian dollars, was $9.59 billion, in the week to Jan. 16.
    That compares with a net short position of $8.85 billion the
previous week.
    To be short a currency means traders believe it will fall in
value.
    In a wider measure of dollar positioning that
includes net contracts on the New Zealand dollar, Mexican peso,
Brazilian real and Russian ruble, the U.S. dollar posted a net
short position valued at $11.80 billion, compared with $10.14
billion the week before.
    The trade-weighted dollar index rose 0.14 percent to
90.665 on Friday. 
    On Wednesday, the index touched the lowest level since
December 2014, with investors selling on the view that more
central banks will join the Federal Reserve in raising interest
rates, after years of ultra-loose policy adopted to combat the
2008 global financial crisis and subsequent recessions.
    The index was on pace for its fifth straight week of
declines, its longest losing streak since May 2015, with 
worries over a possible U.S. government shutdown weighing on
investor sentiment.    
    Speculators have maintained a bearish stance on the
greenback since mid-July, Reuters data showed. Excessive bearish
bets against the dollar could spur a short squeeze in the event
of any positive news for the dollar, some analysts said.

    The net long position on sterling grew to 26,204 contracts,
the highest since September 2014, the data showed.
    Sterling has rallied against the greenback in recent weeks,
with traders welcoming positive noises from the European Union
about negotiations for Britain's exit. Growing risk appetite has
also encouraged sterling bulls to add to their positions against
a widely weakened dollar.
    Meanwhile, speculators' net short position on bitcoin Cboe
futures rose to a new high of 2,226 contracts, up from 1,907
contracts in the prior week, the data showed.
    Regulatory fears have hurt bitcoin prices in recent days and
earlier this week the first of the Cboe bitcoin futures
contracts settled, netting big gains for bitcoin bears.

    
    Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $13.508 billion
         16 Jan 2018            Prior week
         week             
 Long             38,152            37,376
 Short           157,502           162,912
 Net            -119,350          -125,536
 
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $-21.375 billion
         16 Jan 2018            Prior week
         week             
 Long            254,344           242,053
 Short           114,854            97,362
 Net             139,490           144,691
 
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $-2.259 billion
         16 Jan 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             84,661           85,039
 Short            58,457           59,547
 Net              26,204           25,492
 
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $2.75 billion
         16 Jan 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             14,233           18,523
 Short            35,339           40,445
 Net             -21,106          -21,922
 
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $-1.412 billion
         16 Jan 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             61,473           58,581
 Short            43,917           41,120
 Net              17,556           17,461
 
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $-0.802 billion 
         16 Jan 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             50,348           52,347
 Short            40,274           46,889
 Net              10,074            5,458
 
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-1.247 billion
         16 Jan 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             82,790           78,703
 Short            35,995           48,906
 Net              46,795           29,797
 
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $0.581 billion 
         16 Jan 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             17,795           17,304
 Short            25,786           28,321
 Net              -7,991          -11,017
    

    
 (Reporting by Saqib Iqbal AhmedEditing by Chizu Nomiyama;
Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
  
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