Speculators raise U.S. dollar net shorts to largest since October -CFTC, Reuters

(Adds details, table, analyst comment, byline)
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK, March 16 (Reuters) - Speculators' net short U.S.
dollar bets rose to a five-month high this week, according to
calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission
data released on Friday.
The value of the net short dollar position was $14.61
billion in the week to March 13, compared with $11.46 billion
the previous week. Net short positioning on the greenback has
increased for a third straight week.
U.S. dollar positioning was derived from net contracts of
International Monetary Market speculators in the yen, euro,
British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars.
In a wider measure of dollar positioning that
includes net contracts on the New Zealand dollar, Mexican peso,
Brazilian real and Russian rouble, the U.S. dollar posted a net
short position valued at $17.29 billion, up from $14.51 billion
the week before.
The dollar has been under pressure over the last two weeks
due to fears about trade protectionism with the imposition of
U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. Departures of key members of
U.S. President Donald Trump's cabinet also weighed on the dollar
given the uncertain political outlook.
"The unprecedented turnover at the highest levels of the
administration has not only fanned worries about the instability
and unpredictability of this government but has also raised
concerns that there are now fewer checks against the
protectionist leanings of the president," said Omer Esiner,
chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange.
So far this year, the dollar has fallen 2 percent against a
basket of six major currencies, following a 10 percent loss in
Meanwhile, speculators' net short position on bitcoin Cboe
futures rose to 1,716 contracts in the latest
week, from 1,599 the previous week, the data showed.
Bitcoin has lost nearly 40 percent of its value so far this
year, hurt by increased scrutiny from regulators around the
world led by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Other
cryptocurrencies have tumbled in value as well.
Bitcoin on Friday was last up 3.1 percent at $8,522.79
on the Luxembourg-based exchange Bitstamp.

Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen)
$9.33 billion
13 Mar 2018 Prior week
Long 44,296 50,057
Short 123,835 136,902
Net -79,539 -86,845

EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
$-22.669 billion
13 Mar 2018 Prior week
Long 239,453 227,354
Short 93,073 94,382
Net 146,380 132,972

POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
$-0.7 billion
13 Mar 2018 Prior week
Long 67,190 61,368
Short 59,163 56,104
Net 8,027 5,264

SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
$0.87 billion
13 Mar 2018 Prior week
Long 17,190 17,945
Short 23,762 26,422
Net -6,572 -8,477

CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
$-1.498 billion
13 Mar 2018 Prior week
Long 59,919 54,233
Short 40,499 34,668
Net 19,420 19,565

AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
$0.061 billion
13 Mar 2018 Prior week
Long 38,366 47,469
Short 39,145 44,334
Net -779 3,135

MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
$-2.337 billion
13 Mar 2018 Prior week
Long 113,977 114,143
Short 27,037 30,848
Net 86,940 83,295

NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
$0.206 billion
13 Mar 2018 Prior week
Long 34,689 33,091
Short 37,505 33,061
Net -2,816 30

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; editing by Diane Craft
and James Dalgleish)

2018-03-16 22:55:12

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