Speculators increase bets against dollar: CFTC

NEW YORK Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:18pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Currency speculators boosted bets against the U.S. dollar for the first week in five, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday.

The value of the dollar's net short position rose to $27.75 billion in the week ended April 26, the highest level in a month, from net shorts of $24.36 billion a week earlier, according to CFTC and Reuters calculations.

Euro long positions rose to 68,279 contracts in the latest week, the highest since December 2007, from 62,195 contracts the previous week.

Expectations the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low while the European Central Bank raises them have pressured the dollar in recent months.

The U.S. dollar hit a three-year low against a basket of currencies .DXY on Friday and has now fallen for five straight months after tallying a 3.8 percent April decline.

The euro was on track to rally 4.6 percent against the dollar in April for its best month since September.

Speculators trimmed bets against the yen, while they also pared positions in favor of further gains in commodity currencies such as the Canadian and Australian dollars.

To be short a currency is to bet it will decrease in value, while being long a currency is a bet its value will rise.

The Reuters calculation for the aggregate U.S. dollar position is derived from the net positions of International Monetary Market speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc, Canadian and Australian dollars.

(Reporting by Wanfeng Zhou; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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