VIX speculators trimmed their bearish bets for 1st time in 3 weeks

May 23, 2020

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VIX Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large volatility speculators 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 -35,032 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday May 19th. This was a weekly change of 4,694 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of -39,726 net contracts.

The week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) gaining by 7,337 contracts (to a weekly total of 54,648 contracts) while the gross bearish position (shorts) advanced by a lesser amount of 2,643 contracts for the week (to a total of 89,680 contracts).


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Speculative bearish positions had risen in the previous two weeks and added a total of -20,755 contracts to the bearish standing in that time-frame before this week’s small turnaround. Despite this week’s pullback, VIX speculator positions remain above the -35,000 net contract level for a second straight week for the first time since March 17th. Overall, the VIX spec position has now been in an overall bearish level for 71 weeks, dating back to January 9th of 2019.

VIX Commercial Positions:

The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of 41,545 contracts on the week. This was a weekly fall of -2,728 contracts from the total net of 44,273 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 $32.07 which was a decrease of $-0.85 from the previous close of $32.92, 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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