Speculators raise US Dollar bearish bets. Euro bets rise to 117-week high


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Speculator Position: Traders raise US Dollar bearish bets

Large currency speculators increased their bearish net positions in the US Dollar Index futures markets 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 -5,793 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday July 21st. This was a weekly change of -754 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -5,039 net contracts.

This week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) advancing by 6,856 contracts (to a weekly total of 18,979 contracts) but was overtaken by the gross bearish position (shorts) which saw a rise of 7,610 contracts on the week (to a total of 24,772 contracts).

Speculators raised their bearish bets in the US Dollar Index futures for a second straight week this week. The current position is now the most bearish level since turning bearish in June and overall is at the most bearish point since December 5th of 2017, a span of one hundred and thirty-seven weeks.

The price of the dollar index (DXY) has been feeling the pain of the negative sentiment and has fallen to the lowest level since September of 2018 with the weekly close at approximately 94.35.


Individual Currencies Data this week: Euro bets rise to 117-week high

In the other major currency contracts data, we saw a substantial rise in Euro bullish bets while the Australian dollar fell back into a bearish level in the speculators category this week.

Euro currency positions jumped this week with bullish bets going higher by over +14,000 contracts. This was the third straight week that bullish bets climbed and marks a total rise of +26,092 contracts over the three-week span. Euro bets have now gone higher in eight out of the past nine weeks as well and the positive sentiment has pushed the speculator bullish position to the highest level since April 24th of 2018, a span of 117 weeks. Euro prices jumped as well with the EURUSD currency pair rising to the highest level since 2018 at over the 1.16 exchange rate.

Australian dollar positions dropped this week and fell back into an overall bearish level. Last week, speculators had pushed the Aussie standing into a bullish position for the first time in 120 weeks, dating back to March of 2018. The current position of -205 net contracts is essentially a neutral position that could go higher considering the negative sentiment for the US Dollar at the current time. The AUDUSD currency pair has been trading steadily higher after hitting a bottom at the 0.55 exchange rate in March with the weekly close above 0.7100 on Friday.

Overall, the major currencies that saw improving speculator positions this week were the euro (14,135 weekly change in contracts), Japanese yen (981 contracts), Swiss franc (322 contracts), Canadian dollar (3,077 contracts), and the New Zealand dollar (1,358 contracts).

The currencies whose speculative bets declined this week were the US dollar index (-754 weekly change in contracts), British pound sterling (-1,494 contracts), Australian dollar (-4,455 contracts) and the Mexican peso (-2,023 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 -5,793 -754
EuroFx 125,047 14,135
GBP -15,080 -1,494
JPY 19,307 981
CHF 7,379 322
CAD -16,698 3,077
AUD -205 -4,455
NZD 2,475 1,358
MXN 9,848 -2,023

 

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 totaled a net position of 125,047 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly advance of 14,135 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 110,912 net contracts.


British Pound Sterling:

The large British pound sterling speculator level recorded a net position of -15,080 contracts in the data reported this week. This was a weekly decrease of -1,494 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -13,586 net contracts.


Japanese Yen:

Large Japanese yen speculators was a net position of 19,307 contracts in this week’s data. This was a weekly rise of 981 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 18,326 net contracts.


Swiss Franc:

The Swiss franc speculator standing this week was a net position of 7,379 contracts in the data through Tuesday. This was a weekly rise of 322 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 7,057 net contracts.


Canadian Dollar:

Canadian dollar speculators reached a net position of -16,698 contracts this week. This was a gain of 3,077 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -19,775 net contracts.


Australian Dollar:

The large speculator positions in Australian dollar futures totaled a net position of -205 contracts this week in the data ending Tuesday. This was a weekly reduction of -4,455 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 4,250 net contracts.


New Zealand Dollar:

The New Zealand dollar speculative standing equaled a net position of 2,475 contracts this week in the latest COT data. This was a weekly rise of 1,358 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 1,117 net contracts.


Mexican Peso:

Mexican peso speculators totaled a net position of 9,848 contracts this week. This was a weekly lowering of -2,023 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 11,871 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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