The latest Commitments of Traders (COT) report, released on Friday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), showed that large futures speculators continued to add to their overall US dollar short positions last week while the euro and some other currencies are seeing their highest positions of the year.
Non-commercial large futures traders, including hedge funds and large speculators, raised their total US dollar short position to a total of $17.96 billion on September 25th from a total short position of $10.05 billion on September 18th, 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 increased sharply again last week for a third consecutive week and brought euro positions to their best level (or least short level) since September 2011. Euro net short positions or bets against the currency fell to 50,238 contracts on September 25th from the previous week’s total of 73,482 net short contracts on September 18th. This is the lowest short position for euro contracts since September 6, 2011 when contracts were short by 36,443.
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 surged higher last week for a second straight week and pushed positions to the highest level all year. British pound sterling speculative positions totaled 27,137 net long contracts on September 25th following a total of 14,412 net long contracts on September 18th. British pound positions are at their highest level since May 3, 2011 when long positions numbered 30,807 contracts.
JPY: Japanese yen speculative contracts rebounded last week after decreasing the previous week. Japanese yen positions increased to a total of 21,111 net long contracts reported on September 25th following a total of 15,476 net long contracts on September 18th.
CHF: Swiss franc speculator positions rose for a third straight week and improved to their best positioning since December 2011. Speculator positions for the Swiss currency futures registered a total of 904 net short contracts on September 25th following a total of 4,527 net short contracts as of September 18th. Franc contracts are now at just about a neutral position against the US dollar and at their best level since October 2011.
CAD: Canadian dollar positions declined slightly after rising higher for eight consecutive weeks and surging to the highest level in over two years. Canadian dollar positions decreased to a total of 105,346 net long contracts as of September 25th following a total of 111,881 net long contracts that were reported for September 18th.
AUD: The Australian dollar positions advanced higher last week to the highest level of 2012. Aussie speculative futures positions increased to a total net amount of 89,562 long contracts on September 25th after totaling 69,246 net long contracts as of September 18th. Australian dollar positions surpassed their most recent 2012 high level on August 21st when long positions equaled 86,882 contracts.
NZD: New Zealand dollar speculator positions increased for a second consecutive week. NZD contracts rose to a total of 19,965 net long contracts as of September 25th following a total of 16,605 net long contracts on September 18th. Kiwi contracts are now at their highest level since February 27th when positions totaled 22,114 long contracts.
MXN: Mexican peso speculative contracts surged higher last week after taking a breather the previous week. Peso positions rose to a total of 141,256 net long speculative positions as of September 25th following a total of 118,147 long contracts that were reported for September 18th. Peso contracts have now been over 100,000 long positions for three straight weeks and are at their highest level in over two years.