November 3, 2017 / 8:58 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators pare bearish bets on dollar to 15-week low -CFTC, Reuters

 (Adds details, comments, tabular data, byline)
    By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
    NEW YORK, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Speculators trimmed their
bearish bets on the U.S. dollar in the latest week to the
smallest position in 15 weeks, according to calculations by
Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released
on Friday.
    The value of the dollar's net short position, derived from
net positions of International Monetary Market speculators in
the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and
Australian dollars, was $3.37 billion, in the week to Oct. 31.
    That compares with a net short position of $8.02 billion the
previous week and marks the 16th straight week that speculators
have had a net short position on the greenback.
    To be short a currency means traders believe it will fall in
    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 $5.61 billion, down from $10.72 billion
a week earlier.
    Generally upbeat U.S. economic data in the wake of the
recent hurricanes and an increase in market expectations for
higher interest rates have helped support the dollar in recent
weeks, said Karl Schamotta, director of global product and
market strategy at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.
    The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
six major currencies, rose 1.6 percent in October, its best
monthly performance since February.
    "The dollar is rising on expectations that tax reform will
move ahead in some form," Schamotta said.
    "It's certainly unlikely to move ahead in the form that was
proposed yesterday, but the markets are looking for increased
largesse there and a high level of economic activity as those
changes take root."
    Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled a
tax bill on Thursday that would cost $1.51 trillion and deliver
deep tax cuts as promised by President Donald Trump, setting off
a race in Congress to give him his first major legislative win.

    Congressional passage of the legislation, which would affect
nearly every U.S. company and family, was far from certain,
however, and some business groups quickly came out against it
and Democrats swiftly condemned it as a giveaway to the rich.
    Meanwhile, the net short position in the yen rose to 118,869
contracts, the largest since late July. The Japanese currency
has been hampered by persistently low inflation. 
    Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $13.077 billion
         Oct. 31, 2017          Prior week
 Long             54,585            60,077
 Short           173,454           176,934
 Net            -118,869          -116,857
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $-10.494 billion
         Oct. 31, 2017          Prior week
 Long            173,670           183,539
 Short           101,573           100,035
 Net              72,097            83,504
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $-0.103 billion
         Oct. 31, 2017         Prior week
 Long             65,482           66,162
 Short            64,237           67,647
 Net               1,245           -1,485
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $2.59 billion
         Oct. 31, 2017         Prior week
 Long             21,001           22,539
 Short            41,672           34,136
 Net             -20,671          -11,597
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $-4.489 billion
         Oct. 31, 2017         Prior week
 Long             84,309           96,561
 Short            26,470           24,229
 Net              57,839           72,332
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $-3.951 billion 
         Oct. 31, 2017         Prior week
 Long             85,422           85,819
 Short            33,814           28,569
 Net              51,608           57,250
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-1.443 billion
         Oct. 31, 2017         Prior week
 Long             87,220           87,536
 Short            31,974           31,835
 Net              55,246           55,701
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $0.391 billion 
         Oct. 31, 2017         Prior week
 Long             21,763           20,549
 Short            27,470           19,938
 Net              -5,707              611
 (Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Sandra Maler and
Chizu Nomiyama)
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