FX Speculators added to US Dollar bearish bets again this week

September 9, 2017

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US Dollar net speculator positions declined to $-10.89 billion this week

The latest data for the weekly Commitment of Traders (COT) report, released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday, showed that large traders and currency speculators added to their bearish bets for the US dollar this week for a third straight week.

Non-commercial large futures traders, including hedge funds and large speculators, had an overall US dollar position totaling $-10.89 billion as of Tuesday September 5th, according to the latest data from the CFTC and dollar amount calculations by Reuters. This was a weekly decline of $-0.61 billion from the $-10.28 billion total short position that was registered the previous week, according to the Reuters calculation (totals of the US dollar contracts against the combined contracts of the euro, British pound, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar and the Swiss franc).

The aggregate US dollar position has now fallen ten out of the past eleven weeks and to a new lowest level since 2013. Despite the consistent fall, the latest declines have been relatively small with under a $-1.0 billion decrease taking place each of the past three weeks.

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Weekly Speculator Contract Changes:

The individual major currencies saw only one weekly change above the (+ or -) 10,000 contract mark this week in the speculators category.

  • Mexican peso bets jumped by over +16,000 contracts this week after a small decline the previous week. The MXN speculator standing is now back over the +100,000 net contract level and at the most bullish point since May 28th 2013 when net positions totaled +120,864 contracts.

Overall, the major currencies that improved against the US dollar last week were the euro (9,790 weekly change in contracts),  Canadian dollar (477 contracts) and the Mexican peso (16,602 contracts).

The currencies whose speculative bets dropped declined last week versus the dollar were the British pound sterling (-1,372 weekly change in contracts), Japanese yen (-4,421 contracts), Swiss franc (-393 contracts), Australian dollar (-1,623 contracts) and the New Zealand dollar (-4,081 contracts).


Table of Weekly Commercial Traders and Speculators Levels & Changes:

Currency Net Commercials Comms Weekly Chg Net Speculators Specs Weekly Chg
EuroFx -120,668 -6,908 96,309 9,790
GBP 52,245 -1,896 -52,927 -1,372
JPY 78,232 3,028 -72,945 -4,421
CHF 5,707 2,004 -2,171 -393
CAD -71,350 -2,674 53,644 477
AUD -83,189 -1,775 64,904 -1,623
NZD -16,524 4,780 14,723 -4,081
MXN -119,359 -17,332 113,612 16,602


This latest COT data is through Tuesday and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) as well as the commercial traders (hedgers & traders for business purposes) were positioned in the futures markets. All currency positions are in direct relation to the US dollar where, for example, a bet for the euro is a bet that the euro will rise versus the dollar while a bet against the euro will be a bet that the dollar will gain versus the euro.


Weekly Charts: Large Trader Weekly Positions vs Price



British Pound Sterling:


Japanese Yen:


Swiss Franc:


Canadian Dollar:


Australian Dollar:


New Zealand Dollar:


Mexican Peso:

*COT Report: The weekly commitment of traders report summarizes the total trader positions for open contracts in the futures trading markets. The CFTC categorizes trader positions according to commercial hedgers (traders who use futures contracts for hedging as part of the business), non-commercials (large traders who speculate to realize trading profits) and nonreportable traders (usually small traders/speculators). Find CFTC criteria here: (http://www.cftc.gov/MarketReports/CommitmentsofTraders/ExplanatoryNotes/index.htm).

The Commitment of Traders report is published every Friday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and shows futures positions data that was reported as of the previous Tuesday (3 days behind).

Each currency contract is a quote for that currency directly against the U.S. dollar, a net short amount of contracts means that more speculators are betting that currency to fall against the dollar and a net long position expect that currency to rise versus the dollar.

(The charts overlay the forex closing price of each Tuesday when COT trader positions are reported for each corresponding spot currency pair.) See more information and explanation on the weekly COT report from the CFTC website.

Article by CountingPips.com