WTI Crude Oil Speculators cut back on their bullish bets for 4th time in 5 weeks

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WTI Crude Oil Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large energy speculators decreased their bullish net positions in the WTI Crude Oil 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 WTI Crude Oil futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 535,317 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday July 7th. This was a weekly drop of -8,509 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of 543,826 net contracts.

The week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) sinking by -17,850 contracts (to a weekly total of 686,543 contracts) while the gross bearish position (shorts) dipped by a lesser amount of -9,341 contracts for the week (to a total of 151,226 contracts).

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Crude speculators reduced their net positions for a second straight week and for the fourth time in the past five weeks. The decrease in net positions dropped the current standing to the lowest level in the past nine weeks but the overall position remains strongly bullish. The net position has now continued to reside above the +500,000 net contract level for thirteen consecutive weeks which is the best streak (of +500,000 contracts) since a 50-week stretch from October of 2017 to October of 2018.

WTI Crude Oil Commercial Positions:

The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -562,326 contracts on the week. This was a weekly uptick of 8,059 contracts from the total net of -570,385 contracts reported the previous week.

WTI Crude Oil Futures:

Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the WTI Crude Oil Futures (Front Month) closed at approximately $40.62 which was a boost of $1.35 from the previous close of $39.27, according to unofficial market data.

*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) as well as the commercial traders (hedgers & traders for business purposes) 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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