June 8, 2018 / 8:51 PM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators add to bearish bets against U.S. dollar

 (Adds table, comment, details, byline)
    By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
    NEW YORK, June 8 (Reuters) - Speculators' net short dollar
bets rose slightly in the latest week, after shrinking for six
straight weeks, 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 $5.54 billion in the week to June 5.
    That compares with a net short position of $4.85 billion the
previous week.
    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 $5.25 billion, compared with a short
position valued at $5.20 billion a week earlier.
    The dollar, which had risen steadily since mid-April,
boosted by rising U.S. Treasury yields and solid economic data,
lost momentum this week.
    The euro bouncing back from 10-month lows amid easing
Italian political concerns, and speculation the ECB could signal
intentions to start unwinding its massive bond purchasing
program when it holds its policy meeting on June 14, helped push
the greenback lower.
    For the week, the dollar index, which measures the
greenback against a basket of six currencies, was down 0.7
percent, its largest weekly decline in 11 weeks.
    June is expected to be a particularly eventful month for
currency markets as an expected hike in U.S. interest rates by
the Federal Reserve, a European Central Bank policy meeting and
a Brexit bill vote all pose risks for currency traders and could
inject more volatility in the market.
    "Next week itself will be loaded with information as we'll
have the results of the G7 meeting, the ECB and Fed both of
which are likely hawkish and then the Trump summit with North
Korea," Brad Bechtel, managing director, at Jefferies in New
York, said in a note on Friday.
    Top U.S. allies scrambled on Friday to keep a Group of Seven
nations summit from veering off track as President Donald Trump
vowed to deal with "unfair trade practices" by Canada and the
European Union.
    An unprecedented U.S.-North Korea summit scheduled for June
12 in Singapore, with Washington seeking to pressure Pyongyang
into abandoning its nuclear weapons program, is also likely to
loom large on investors' radar.
    "The U.S. dollar will remain caught in the crossfire so to
speak and likely to tread water," Bechtel said.
    Meanwhile, the net short position on bitcoin CBOE futures
was 1,926 contracts, the largest net short position since early
February, the data showed.
    Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $0.391 billion
         June 5, 2018           Prior week
 Long             52,060            63,182
 Short            55,497            71,218
 Net              -3,437            -8,036
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $-13.07 billion
         June 5, 2018           Prior week
 Long            239,904           230,927
 Short           150,668           137,890
 Net              89,236            93,037
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $-0.615 billion
         June 5, 2018          Prior week
 Long             78,577           71,057
 Short            71,232           61,580
 Net               7,345            9,477
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $4.98 billion
         June 5, 2018          Prior week
 Long             16,349           19,744
 Short            55,565           63,175
 Net             -39,216          -43,431
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $1.237 billion
         June 5, 2018          Prior week
 Long             35,266           32,696
 Short            51,305           48,386
 Net             -16,039          -15,690
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $1.539 billion 
         June 5, 2018          Prior week
 Long             51,719           58,656
 Short            71,927           81,891
 Net             -20,208          -23,235
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $0.272 billion
         June 5, 2018          Prior week
 Long             69,986           73,232
 Short            81,096           54,896
 Net             -11,110           18,336
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $-0.308 billion 
         June 5, 2018          Prior week
 Long             33,307           30,945
 Short            28,924           29,544
 Net               4,383            1,401

 (Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
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