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WTI Crude Oil Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:
Large energy speculators edged their bullish net positions lower again this week in the WTI Crude Oil futures markets, 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 WTI Crude Oil futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 435,108 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday March 31st. This was a weekly decrease of -905 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of 436,013 net contracts.
The week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) advancing by 46,031 contracts (to a weekly total of 624,397 contracts) while the gross bearish position (shorts) gained by 46,936 contracts for the week (to a total of 189,289 contracts).
Crude oil speculative position dipped for a second straight week and for the fourth time out of the past five weeks. Speculative positions, despite the recent bet declines, remain remarkably bullish (at +435,108 contracts) considering the sharp drop in the oil price due to the Saudi-Russia price war and in addition to the disruption of demand due to the economic shutdowns for the COVID-19 virus. The current spec bullish standing sits just below the weekly average of +446,493 contracts since the new year (13 weeks).
WTI Crude Oil Commercial Positions:
The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -479,394 contracts on the week. This was a weekly decline of -12,501 contracts from the total net of -466,893 contracts reported the previous week.
WTI Crude Oil Futures:
Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the WTI Crude Oil Futures (Front Month) closed at approximately $20.48 which was a decrease of $-3.53 from the previous close of $24.01, 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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