VIX Speculators sharply reduced their bearish bets this week

May 18, 2019

May 18th – By CountingPips.comReceive our weekly COT Reports by Email

VIX Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large volatility speculators sharply cut back on their bearish net positions in the VIX 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 VIX futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of -89,696 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday May 14th. This was a weekly change of 60,611 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of -150,307 net contracts.

The week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) gaining by 4,677 contracts (to a weekly total of 96,950 contracts) which combined with the gross bearish position (shorts) that dropped by -55,934 contracts for the week (to a total of 186,646 contracts).


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The VIX speculator short position has now fallen strongly in the past two weeks after reaching a record high bearish position on April 30th. Spec bets have seen over 90,000 contracts come off the net standing in two weeks or roughly half of that record high level.

The latest data is through Tuesday and the VIX price level has come down a bit from Tuesday through the week’s close.

VIX Commercial Positions:

Meanwhile, the commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of 92,975 contracts on the week. This was a weekly decrease of -60,782 contracts from the total net of 153,757 contracts reported the previous week.

VIX Futures:

Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the VIX Futures (Front Month) closed at approximately 18.07 which was a boost of 0.20 from the previous close of 17.87, 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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