US Dollar Index Speculators added to their bearish bets this week

December 5, 2020

US Dollar Index Speculator Positions

Large currency speculators edged their bearish net positions slightly higher in the US Dollar Index 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 US Dollar Index futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of -3,075 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday December 1st. This was a weekly decrease of -321 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -2,754 net contracts.

This week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) gaining by 4,061 contracts (to a weekly total of 23,708 contracts) but being more than offset by the gross bearish position (shorts) which rose by 4,382 contracts on the week (to a total of 26,783 contracts).

The US Dollar Index speculators raised their bearish bets for a second straight week and for the third time in the past four weeks this week. The Dollar Index spec position has now been in bearish territory for four straight weeks after rising to a small bullish position on November 3rd. Overall, the Dollar position has now been in a bearish standing for twenty-three out of the past twenty-five weeks, dating back to early June when the streak of 109 consecutive weeks of dollar bullish positions ended.





Individual Currencies Data this week:

In all of the individual contracts data, the major currencies that saw improving speculator positions this week were the euro (1,644 weekly change in contracts), British pound sterling (9,231 contracts), Japanese yen (7,261 contracts), New Zealand dollar (746 contracts) and the Mexican peso (5,246 contracts).

The currencies whose speculative bets declined this week were the US dollar index (-321 weekly change in contracts), Swiss franc (-335 contracts), Canadian dollar (-4,397 contracts) and the Australian dollar (-5,523 contracts).


Chart: Current Strength of Each Currency compared to their 3-Year Range

The above chart depicts each currency’s current speculator strength level compared to data of the past 3 years. A score of 0 percent would mean speculator bets are currently at the lowest level of the past three years. A 100 percent score would be at the highest level while a 50 percent score would mean speculator bets are right in the middle of the data (a neutral score). We use above 80 percent (extreme bullish) and below 20 percent (extreme bearish) as extreme score measurements.

Please see the data table and individual currency charts below.


Table of Large Speculator Levels & Weekly Changes:

Currency Net Speculator Position Specs Weekly Change
USD Index -3,075 -321
EuroFx 139,894 1,644
GBP -7,899 9,231
JPY 47,503 7,261
CHF 14,651 -335
CAD -21,243 -4,397
AUD -10,800 -5,523
NZD 9,058 746
MXN 29,041 5,246

This latest COT data is through Tuesday and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) were positioned in the futures markets. All currency positions are in direct relation to the US dollar where, for example, a bet for the euro is a bet that the euro will rise versus the dollar while a bet against the euro will be a bet that the dollar will gain versus the euro.


Weekly Charts: Large Trader Weekly Positions vs Price

EuroFX:

The Euro large speculator standing this week equaled a net position of 139,894 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly increase of 1,644 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 138,250 net contracts.

 


British Pound Sterling:

The large British pound sterling speculator level came in at a net position of -7,899 contracts in the data reported this week. This was a weekly gain of 9,231 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -17,130 net contracts.

 


Japanese Yen:

Large Japanese yen speculators resulted in a net position of 47,503 contracts in this week’s data. This was a weekly gain of 7,261 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 40,242 net contracts.

 


Swiss Franc:

The Swiss franc speculator standing this week was a net position of 14,651 contracts in the data through Tuesday. This was a weekly decline of -335 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 14,986 net contracts.

 


Canadian Dollar:

Canadian dollar speculators was a net position of -21,243 contracts this week. This was a lowering of -4,397 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -16,846 net contracts.

 


Australian Dollar:

The large speculator positions in Australian dollar futures equaled a net position of -10,800 contracts this week in the data ending Tuesday. This was a weekly decline of -5,523 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -5,277 net contracts.

 


New Zealand Dollar:

The New Zealand dollar speculative standing reached a net position of 9,058 contracts this week in the latest COT data. This was a weekly lift of 746 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 8,312 net contracts.

 


Mexican Peso:

Mexican peso speculators equaled a net position of 29,041 contracts this week. This was a weekly boost of 5,246 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 23,795 net contracts.

 


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*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) 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).