VIX Speculators sharply boosted their bearish bets, up for 2nd week

September 14, 2019

September 14th – By CountingPips.comReceive our weekly COT Reports by Email

VIX Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large volatility speculators strongly added 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 -93,429 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday September 10th. This was a weekly lowering of -26,787 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of -66,642 net contracts.

The week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) falling by -16,361 contracts (to a weekly total of 96,684 contracts) while the gross bearish position (shorts) saw a gain by 10,426 contracts for the week (to a total of 190,113 contracts).


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VIX speculative bearish positions pushed higher once again this week following a modest gain last week (-9,489 contracts). This week’s increase by more than -26,000 contracts is the largest one-week bearish rise in the past twenty-five weeks and puts the overall bearish level back near the -100,000 contract standing. VIX speculator bets hit a record high bearish position earlier this year in late April (-180,359 contracts) before pulling back. Bearish bets also looked to be heading that way again in late July (-144,314 contracts) before the risk-off themes of August prompted traders to sharply flee their bearish positions. The recent calming in the markets may see traders build their bearish positions back above the -100,000 contract level in coming weeks.

VIX Commercial Positions:

The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of 102,041 contracts on the week. This was a weekly gain of 30,167 contracts from the total net of 71,874 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 $17.67 which was a fall of $-1.85 from the previous close of $19.52, 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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