The latest Commitments of Traders (COT) report, released on Monday by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, showed that futures speculators trimmed their short bets of the US dollar against the other major currencies and are now short the euro. Non-commercial futures positions, those taken by hedge funds and large speculators, were overall net short the US dollar by $9.74 billion against other major currencies as of November 23rd. This is down from a total short position of $15.52 billion on November 16th, according to data published by Reuters which calculates the dollar positions against the euro, British pound, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar and the Swiss franc. Speculators have now raised their bets in favor of the dollar five out of the last six weeks.
On an individual currency basis, speculators added to their long positions for the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc while decreasing long positions in the euro, British pound sterling, Canadian dollar, Mexican peso, New Zealand dollar and the Australian dollar compared to the week before.
EuroFx: Currency specs were now short the euro against the U.S. dollar by 8,293 contracts as of November 23rd. This is a decrease of over 16,000 contracts following net long positions of 8,606 contracts on November 16th and marks the fifth straight week of declining euro positions after touching a high of 48,243 on October 5th.
The COT report is published every Friday by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and shows futures positions as of the previous Tuesday. It can be a useful tool for traders to gauge investor sentiment and to look for potential changes in the direction of a currency or commodity. Each currency contract is a quote for that currency directly against the U.S. dollar, where as a net short amount of contracts means that more speculators are betting that currency to fall against the dollar and net long position expect that currency to rise versus the dollar. Open interest is the number of open contracts that have not been closed by a transaction or by delivery.
GBP: The British pound sterling positions declined to a net of 10,197 long contracts after being long on November 16th by 23,771 positions. The latest data disrupts three straight weeks of increasing pound positions.
JPY: The Japanese yen net long contracts increased after two straight weeks of declines to 27,192 long contracts as of November 23rd from 22,858 net long contracts reported on November 16th.
CAD: The Canadian dollar positions dipped as of November 23rd after advancing for three straight weeks. CAD long positions registered 22,499 contracts after totaling 38,441 net longs on November 16th.
CHF: Swiss franc long positions edged higher to a total of 8,511 long contracts as of November 23rd after totaling a net of 7,803 long contracts on November 16th.
AUD: The Australian dollar positions decreased lower for the eighth straight week after reaching their highest level since April on September 28th. AUD contracts declined to a net amount of 28,471 long contracts as of November 23rd from 36,202 long contracts on November 16th.
NZD: New Zealand dollar futures positions declined as of November 23rd after four straight weeks of increases. NZD long positions fell to a total of 21,069 long contracts after a total of 23,445 long contracts the week before.
MXN: Mexican peso long contracts edged lower as of November 23rd to 87,246 net long positions from 93,217 longs the week prior. The latest data breaks up three straight weeks of increases for the Mexican peso speculative positions.
COT Data Summary as of November 23rd, 2010
Large Speculators Net Positions vs. the US Dollar
Euro: -8293 contracts
British pound sterling: +10,197 contracts
Australian dollar: +28,471 contracts
Canadian dollar: +22,499 contracts
Japanese yen: +27,192 contracts
Mexican peso: +87,246 contracts
New Zealand dollar: +21,069 contracts
Swiss franc: +8511 contracts
Further COT Resources from around the web: