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VIX Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:
Large volatility speculators raised their bullish net positions in the VIX futures markets this week for the first time in four weeks, 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 VIX futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 76,918 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday March 6th. This was a weekly increase of 42,535 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 34,383 net contracts.
Speculative positions had declined for three straight weeks following the early February spike in volatility that saw speculators go bullish on VIX futures. Speculators have now been in an overall bullish position for five straight weeks for the first time since a stretch in February and March 2016.
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VIX Commercial Positions:
The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -74,378 contracts on the week. This was a weekly shortfall of -31,765 contracts from the total net of -42,613 contracts reported the previous week.
Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the VIX, which tracks the volatility of the S&P500, closed at approximately $18.36 which was a decline of $-0.23 from the previous close of $18.59, 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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