WTI Crude Oil Speculators cut back on record high bullish bets this week

December 30, 2017

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WTI Crude Oil Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large oil speculators reduced their bullish net positions in the WTI Crude Oil futures markets this week, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.

The non-commercial futures contracts of WTI Crude Oil futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 601,839 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday December 26th. This was a weekly lowering of -12,658 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 614,497 net contracts.

The speculative position came off three straight weeks of new record highs as the oil bets have risen for eight out of the past ten weeks. The overall level has remained above the +600,000 net position standing for four straight weeks.


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WTI Crude Oil Commercial Positions:

The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -619,991 contracts on the week. This was a weekly increase of 9,339 contracts from the total net of -629,330 contracts reported the previous week.

USO:

Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the USO Crude Oil ETF, which tracks the price of WTI crude oil, closed at approximately $11.51 which was a rise of $0.07 from the previous close of $11.44, according to unofficial market data.

*COT Report: The COT data, released weekly to the public each Friday, is updated through the most recent Tuesday (data is 3 days old) 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. 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).

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