November 26, 2018 / 10:19 PM / 21 days ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators raise net long U.S. dollar bets in latest week -CFTC, Reuters

 (Adds details, bitcoin futures, comments, table, byline)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Speculators increased net long
bets on the U.S. dollar in the latest week, according to
calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission
(CFTC) data released on Monday.
    The value of the net long dollar position was $28.49 billion
in the week ended Nov. 20, up from $27.11 billion the previous
week. Speculators have been net long on the dollar for 23
straight weeks, after being short for 48 consecutive 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 broader 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 long position of $28.98 billion, compared with $27.89
billion a week earlier.
    The dollar gained ground last week on safe-haven bids as
risk appetite worsened with a sell-off in stocks and decline in
oil prices. The drop in oil prices was particularly worrisome as
it suggested slowing global growth.
    One of the focal points this week is a scheduled meeting
between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi
Jinping that may be their last chance to broker a ceasefire in
an increasingly dangerous trade war. It could be an opportunity
for the dollar to advance again as some analysts believe it is
unlikely that Trump and Xi will reach a deal.
    "Any signs that the United States may escalate the trade war
with China further will probably lend further support to the
greenback," said Erik Nelson, currency strategist, at Wells
Fargo in New York.
    "Accordingly, we see risks as tilted toward modest dollar
gains over the next few days."
    So far this year, the dollar index is up 5.4 percent.
    In the cryptocurrency market, speculators' net short
position on bitcoin Cboe futures totaled -1,199 contracts
 in the latest week, from -1,185 contracts 
previous week, data showed.
    Bitcoin has been in a prolonged market slump since the
beginning of the year. It plunged more than 14 percent on Monday
as sentiment soured over intense regulatory scrutiny and the
persistent lack of market infrastructure.
    On Monday, bitcoin was down 14.8 percent from last Friday,
and 75 percent so far this year, at $3,623.49 on the Bitstamp
platform.
    "In theory, if the course of bitcoin continues to decline
down to $3,500 and below, we will see a significant decrease of
network capacity which could eventually lead to a technological
collapse," said analysts at online FX broker FxPro.
        
    Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $11.094 billion
         20 Nov 2018            Prior week
         week             
 Long             33,462            40,192
 Short           133,527           142,486
 Net            -100,065          -102,294
 
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $6.712 billion
         20 Nov 2018            Prior week
         week             
 Long            157,633           161,860
 Short           204,862           198,879
 Net             -47,229           -37,019
 
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $3.474 billion
         20 Nov 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             37,710           38,606
 Short            81,188           85,713
 Net             -43,478          -47,107
 
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $2.466 billion
         20 Nov 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             17,418           15,841
 Short            37,043           34,443
 Net             -19,625          -18,602
 
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $0.473 billion
         20 Nov 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             39,059           36,773
 Short            45,348           39,564
 Net              -6,289           -2,791
 
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $4.269 billion 
         20 Nov 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             15,968           18,800
 Short            75,148           78,580
 Net             -59,180          -59,780
 
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-0.346 billion
         20 Nov 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             72,611           69,888
 Short            58,528           62,601
 Net              14,083            7,287
 
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $1.313 billion 
         20 Nov 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             15,489           11,138
 Short            34,836           32,006
 Net             -19,347          -20,868
 
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
Editing by Tom Brown and Sonya Hepinstall)
  
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