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 short positions last week as Japanese Yen positions took a sharp dive into bearish territory against the American currency.
Non-commercial large futures traders, including hedge funds and large speculators, cut their total US dollar short position to a total of $4.004 billion on October 23rd from a total short position of $8.14 billion on October 16th, 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 dipped slightly last week after rebounding the previous week. Euro net short positions or bets against the currency increased to 55,219 contracts on October 23rd from the previous week’s total of 53,495 net short contracts on October 16th. Euro positions are still hovering close to their best standing in over a year which was reached on September 25th when short positions totaled 50,238 contracts.
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 declined last week for a third straight week after reaching a new high level for 2012 on October 2nd. British pound sterling speculative positions fell to a total of 18,397 net long contracts on October 23rd following a total of 19,599 net long contracts on October 16th. British pound positions, on October 2nd, had touched their highest 2012 level and best level since May 3, 2011 when long positions numbered 30,807 contracts.
JPY: Japanese yen speculative contracts dropped sharply last week to fall over to a short position and declined for a third straight week. Japanese yen positions decreased to a total of 18,196 net short contracts reported on October 23rd following a total of 10,086 net long contracts on October 16th. The decline in Yen positions puts the Yen in short territory for the first time since May 29th, 2012 when short positions totaled 11,330 contracts.
CHF: Swiss franc speculator positions increased last week to improve to a long position against the dollar for the first time in about a year. Speculator positions for the Swiss currency futures registered a total of 2,361 net long contracts on October 23rd following a total of 1,192 net short contracts as of October 16th. Franc contracts have now reached their best positioning against the US dollar since November 7th 2011 when long positions equaled 2,162 contracts.
CAD: Canadian dollar positions declined slightly for a fifth consecutive week after reaching a 2012 high level on September 18th. Canadian dollar positions decreased to a total of 89,088 net long contracts as of October 23rd following a total of 93,750 net long contracts that were reported for October 16th. Before falling the last five weeks, Canadian dollar positions had ascended higher for eight consecutive weeks and surged to the highest level in over two years on September 18th.
AUD: The Australian dollar positions rebounded last week after Aussie positions had fallen for three consecutive weeks. Aussie speculative futures positions rose to a total net amount of 45,651 long contracts on October 23rd after totaling 38,444 net long contracts as of October 16th. Australian dollar positions, on September 25th, had reached their 2012 high level when long positions equaled 86,882 contracts.
NZD: New Zealand dollar speculator positions were just about unchanged last week from the previous week. NZD contracts edged slightly higher to a total of 16,349 net long contracts as of October 23rd following a total of 16,284 net long contracts on October 16th. Kiwi contracts, on October 2nd, were at their highest level since February 27th when positions totaled 22,114 long contracts before falling lower.
MXN: Mexican peso speculative contracts declined just slightly again last week for a second straight week. Peso positions fell to a total of 132,402 net long speculative positions as of October 23rd following a total of 135,456 long contracts that were reported for October 16th. Peso contracts have now been over 100,000 long positions for seven straight weeks and are just off their highest level in over two years that was reached on September 25th at 141,256 long contracts.
Article by CountingPips.com