Speculators add to US Dollar Index bullish bets for 9th week, Swiss Franc bets rise


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US Dollar Index Speculator Positions

Large currency speculators raised their bullish positions in the US Dollar Index futures markets once again this week, 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 US Dollar Index futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 17,297 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday May 19th. This was a weekly increase of 847 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 16,450 net contracts.

This week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) increasing by 559 contracts (to a weekly total of 24,515 contracts) compared to the gross bearish position (shorts) which saw a decrease by -288 contracts on the week (to a total of 7,218 contracts).

The US Dollar Index speculative positions continued to gain this week for the ninth consecutive week. This week’s modest rise has now pushed the overall bullish standing to the highest level of the past eleven weeks. Speculators have maintained their bullish bias for the US Dollar Index for 106 consecutive weeks, dating back to May 5th of 2018.


Individual Currencies Data this week: Swiss Franc at 203-week high

In the other major currency contracts data (speculators category) this week, we saw the Swiss franc continue to accumulate bullish bets while the British pound sterling continued to bring more bearish bets.

Swiss franc bets rose for the fourth time in the past five weeks and for the eighth time in the past eleven weeks this week. The overall franc position has now been in bullish territory for eleven weeks since turning bullish on March 10th. The recent gains for the franc positions has pushed the current speculator standing to the most bullish level since June 28th of 2016, which is a span of 203 weeks.

British pound sterling positions continued to see higher bearish bets for the eleventh consecutive week this week. The GBP standing has now lost more than -54,000 contracts over these past eleven weeks. The current speculator standing is at -18,989 contracts this week which marks the most bearish level in 23 weeks, dating back to December of 2019.

Australian dollar speculators added to their bearish positions for the third time in the past four weeks and and for the sixth time out of the past eight weeks as well. The current AUD level is at the most bearish standing since March 10th (a span of 10 weeks) and has continued to remain in an overall bearish level for the past 112 weeks, dating back to March 27th of 2018.

Overall, the major currencies that saw improving speculator positions this week were the US dollar index (847 weekly change in contracts), the Swiss franc (2,080 contracts) and the New Zealand dollar (11 contracts) .

The currencies whose speculative bets declined this week were the euro (-5,578 weekly change in contracts), British pound sterling (-5,301 contracts), Japanese yen (-467 contracts), Canadian dollar (-2,810 contracts), Australian dollar (-4,133 contracts) and the Mexican peso (-864 contracts).


Chart: Current Strength of Each Currency compared to their 3-Year Range

The above chart depicts each currency’s current speculator strength level compared to data of the past 3 years. A score of 0 percent would mean speculator bets are currently at the lowest level of the past three years. A 100 percent score would be at the highest level while a 50 percent score would mean speculator bets are right in the middle of the data (a neutral score). We use above 80 percent (extreme bullish) and below 20 percent (extreme bearish) as extreme score measurements.

Please see the data table and individual currency charts below.


Table of Large Speculator Levels & Weekly Changes:

Currency Net Speculator Position Specs Weekly Change
USD Index 17,297 847
EuroFx 72,562 -5,578
GBP -18,989 -5,301
JPY 27,470 -467
CHF 8,728 2,080
CAD -35,056 -2,810
AUD -39,558 -4,133
NZD -15,867 11
MXN -5,984 -864

 

This latest COT data is through Tuesday and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) were positioned in the futures markets. All currency positions are in direct relation to the US dollar where, for example, a bet for the euro is a bet that the euro will rise versus the dollar while a bet against the euro will be a bet that the dollar will gain versus the euro.

 


Weekly Charts: Large Trader Weekly Positions vs Price

EuroFX:

The Euro large speculator standing this week equaled a net position of 72,562 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly fall of -5,578 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 78,140 net contracts.


British Pound Sterling:

The large British pound sterling speculator level totaled a net position of -18,989 contracts in the data reported this week. This was a weekly fall of -5,301 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -13,688 net contracts.


Japanese Yen:

Large Japanese yen speculators equaled a net position of 27,470 contracts in this week’s data. This was a weekly decline of -467 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 27,937 net contracts.


Swiss Franc:

The Swiss franc speculator standing this week recorded a net position of 8,728 contracts in the data through Tuesday. This was a weekly lift of 2,080 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 6,648 net contracts.


Canadian Dollar:

Canadian dollar speculators was a net position of -35,056 contracts this week. This was a lowering of -2,810 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -32,246 net contracts.


Australian Dollar:

The large speculator positions in Australian dollar futures reached a net position of -39,558 contracts this week in the data ending Tuesday. This was a weekly lowering of -4,133 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -35,425 net contracts.


New Zealand Dollar:

The New Zealand dollar speculative standing recorded a net position of -15,867 contracts this week in the latest COT data. This was a weekly gain of 11 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -15,878 net contracts.


Mexican Peso:

Mexican peso speculators equaled a net position of -5,984 contracts this week. This was a weekly reduction of -864 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -5,120 net contracts.


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*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) 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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