May 18, 2018 / 9:11 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators cut net short U.S. dollar bets; bitcoin shorts up -CFTC, Reuters data

 (Adds financial details, bitcoin futures analyst comment)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters) - Speculators' net short dollar
position slid to its lowest level in 12 weeks, according to
calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission
data released on Friday.
    The value of the net short dollar position was $9.82 billion
in the week ended May 15, from $10.84 billion the previous week.
The net short dollar position has declined for four straight
weeks.
    U.S. dollar positioning was derived from net contracts of
International Monetary Market speculators in the yen, euro,
British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars.
    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 equivalent to $11.02 billion, down from $13.31
billion the previous week.
    That was the lowest net short dollar positioning in four
months.
    Since mid-April, the dollar has rallied by more than 5
percent, underpinned by rising U.S. Treasury yields and solid
economic data that puts the Federal Reserve on track to raise
interest rates at least two more times this year.
    However, Eric Viloria, currency strategist at Wells Fargo
Securities, believes the dollar's rally should prove temporary,
although he said for now there is further room for the greenback
to extend its gains.
    But he expects that once global economic trends become more
stable and major foreign central banks start signaling they
would adjust monetary policy later this year, the dollar should
resume its downtrend.
    In the cryptocurrency market, speculators' net short
position on bitcoin Cboe futures rose to 1,874 contracts
 from 1,635 the previous week, the data showed.
    After a downtrend in the first few months of the year,
bitcoin has stabilized between $8,000 and $9,000. It last traded
at $8,229.91, up 2.2 percent on the day on the
Bitstamp platform.
    Fundstrat in a research note on Friday said the CME posted
record volumes in the past week for bitcoin futures, which
suggests institutional interest on the virtual currency is
rising. 
    
Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $-0.417 billion
         May 15, 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             64,926            51,812
 Short            61,246            57,274
 Net               3,680            -5,462
 
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $-17.033 billion
         May 15, 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long            219,317           226,601
 Short           104,203           106,096
 Net             115,114           120,505
 
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $-0.474 billion
         May 15, 2018          Prior week
         week             
 Long             61,361           62,194
 Short            55,740           53,206
 Net               5,621            8,988
 
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $4.544 billion
         May 15, 2018          Prior week
         week             
 Long             25,724           25,690
 Short            62,117           58,292
 Net             -36,393          -32,602
 
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $1.838 billion
         May 15, 2018          Prior week
         week             
 Long             30,419           33,156
 Short            54,075           57,017
 Net             -23,656          -23,861
 
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $1.726 billion 
         May 15, 2018          Prior week
         week             
 Long             72,514           62,751
 Short            95,620           79,517
 Net             -23,106          -16,766
 
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-1.34 billion
         May 15, 2018          Prior week
         week             
 Long             86,288          109,911
 Short            33,510           33,723
 Net              52,778           76,188
 
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $-0.134 billion 
         May 15, 2018          Prior week
         week             
 Long             28,754           29,004
 Short            26,801           16,458
 Net               1,953           12,546
 
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York
Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis)
  
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