The latest Commitments of Traders (COT) report, released on Friday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), showed that large futures speculators decreased their overall US dollar long positions last week for the first time in three weeks as traders boosted positions in the Australian dollar, Japanese yen and Mexican peso.
Non-commercial large futures traders, including hedge funds and large speculators, cut their total US dollar long positions to $20.44 billion on July 24th from a total long position of $26.31 billion on July 17th, 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 speculator sentiment for the euro rebounded last week after declining for the previous two consecutive weeks. Euro net short positions or bets against the currency fell to 155,066 contracts on July 24th from the previous week’s total of 167,249 net short contracts on July 17th.
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, a net short amount of contracts means that more speculators are betting that currency to fall against the dollar and a 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: British pound sterling positions improved for a second consecutive week last week although the currency remains bearish on the negative side against the US Dollar. British pound sterling speculative positions totaled 2,934 net short contracts on July 24th following a total of 7,453 net short contracts on July 17th.
JPY: Japanese yen speculative contracts rose by more than double and gained for a third consecutive week last week. Yen positions edged higher to a total of 25,061 net long contracts reported on July 24th following a total of 11,121 net long contracts on July 17th. Japanese positions have now continued to be positive on the long side for an eight consecutive week and are at the highest level since February.
CHF: Swiss franc speculator positions declined last week for a second consecutive week and fell to its lowest level since June 12th. Speculator positions for the Swiss currency futures registered a total of 25,945 net short contracts on July 24th following a total of 23,090 net short contracts as of July 17th. Franc contracts are the lowest level since dropping to a total of 33,301 short contracts on June 12th.
CAD: Canadian dollar positions declined lower for a fourth week in a row and are at their lowest level since January. Canadian dollar positions dipped to a total of 2,432 net short contracts as of July 24th following a total of 1,208 net short contracts that were reported for July 17th. This is the lowest level for Canadian dollar positions since January 30th when large speculators contracts equaled 19,409 short positions.
AUD: The Australian dollar positions rose sharply higher last week after declining previous week. Aussie speculative futures positions advanced to a total net amount of 26,443 long contracts on July 24th after registering a total of 13,931 net long contracts as of July 17th. The improvement in Aussie contracts brings positions to their highest level since May 1st when long contracts equaled 52,280.
NZD: New Zealand dollar futures speculator positions increased for a seventh straight week and are at the highest level since the beginning of May. NZD contracts increased to a total of 7,779 net long contracts as of July 24th following a total of 6,939 net long contracts on July 17th. The kiwi contracts are at their highest level since May 1st when contracts equaled 8,025 long positions.
MXN: Mexican peso speculative contracts surged higher for a seventh straight week and gained more ground after crossing over into positive territory on July 3rd. Peso positions rose to a total of 49,662 net long speculative positions as of July 24th following a total of 34,989 long contracts that were reported for July 17th. Mexican peso positions have now reached their highest level since the beginning of April.
COT Currency Data Summary as of July 24, 2012
Large Speculators Net Positions vs. the US Dollar