The latest Commitments of Traders (COT) report, released on Monday (due to last week’s holiday) by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), showed that large futures speculators increased their bullish bets in favor of the US dollar and raised their bearish positions for the euro to the highest level all year as the euro debt crisis has dominated headlines.
Non-commercial futures traders, usually hedge funds and large speculators, increased their total US dollar long positions to $12.11 billion on November 22nd from a total long position of $10.13 billion on November 15th, according to the CFTC COT data and calculations by Reuters which calculates the dollar positions against the euro, British pound, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar and the Swiss franc.
EuroFX: Currency speculators added to their short bets for the euro against the U.S. dollar for a second consecutive week as of November 22nd. Euro short positions rose to a total of 85,068 net contracts from the previous week’s total of 76,147 net short contracts. Last week’s short position is the lowest level for euro positions all year and the highest short level since June of 2010.
The COT report is published every Friday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) 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. The graphs overlay the forex spot closing price of each Tuesday when COT trader positions are reported for each corresponding spot currency pair.
GBP: Currency speculators raised their bearish bets against the British pound sterling for second consecutive week. British pound positions fell to a total of 36,634 short positions following a total of 32,864 net short positions registered on November 15th. The two-week rise in GBP short positions follows five consecutive weeks of improvement for the pound sterling.
JPY: The Japanese yen net long speculative contracts rose higher last week to increase for a third consecutive week. Yen long positions advanced to a total of 43,180 net long contracts reported on November 22nd following a total of 33,680 net long contracts that were reported on November 15th. Yen positions are now at their highest level since October 25th.
CHF: Swiss franc positions declined to their lowest level all year against the dollar last week. Speculator positions for the Swiss currency futures edged down to a total of 5,870 net short contracts following a total of 1,904 net short contracts as of November 15th. The Swiss currency, usually a popular safe haven currency, has continued to see limited strength in Forex trading since the Swiss National Bank initiated a policy to weaken the currency.
CAD: Canadian dollar positions edged lower for a third straight week as of November 22nd. CAD net contracts decreased to a total of 22,144 net short contracts as of November 22nd following a total of 17,215 short contracts reported on November 15th. CAD positions are heading near the lowest level of the year which was reached on October 11th when net short positions stood at 24,913.
AUD: The Australian dollar long positions decreased for the second consecutive week as of November 22nd. Australian dollar positions fell to a total net amount of 17,960 long contracts following a total of 24,330 net long contracts reported as of November 15th. The AUD speculative positions are now at their lowest level since October 11th.
NZD: New Zealand dollar futures speculator positions declined last week for a second consecutive week. NZD contracts decreased to a total of 7,916 net long contracts as of November 22nd following a total of 10,614 net long contracts registered on November 15th.
MXN: Mexican peso contracts fell last week to the lowest level all year and broke a string of three consecutive weekly improvements. Peso positions declined to a total of 31,582 net short speculative positions as of November 22nd following a total of 15,021 short contracts that were reported on November 15th. Peso positions have surpassed their previous lowest level of 27,055 short positions that was registered on October 25th.
COT Currency Data Summary as of November 22, 2011
Large Speculators Net Positions vs. the US Dollar