Speculators turn bearish on US 10-year bond futures
March 15 (Reuters) - Speculators turned bearish on bets on U.S. 10-year Treasury futures in the latest week, as surprisingly strong economic data stoked bids for stocks, pushing them toward record highs and reducing the appeal of bonds, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday. But bond prices remained resilient, as some investors, who had expected a further decline 10-year Treasury prices this week, were caught flat-footed. They scrambled to buy bonds on the open market to exit their short bets, traders and analysts said. The amount of bearish or short positions in 10-year Treasury futures from speculators exceeded long or bullish positions by 57,346 contracts on Tuesday, according to the CFTC's latest Commitments of Traders data. A week ago, there were 76,818 more longs in 10-year T-note futures than shorts. This was first time since early August that there were more speculative short positions in the 10-year T-notes than long ones. This weekly net drop in speculative positions was the largest in almost 14 months. The dramatic shift into bearish territory supported a factor some traders said was behind a surge in incomplete or failed Treasuries trades this week. This led the U.S. Treasury Department on Friday to call on institutions holding a large amount of benchmark Treasury notes to provide information on their positions following a week in which there was unusual activity in market. On Friday, June 10-year Treasury futures closed 13/32 higher at 130-29/32 after losing about 1-1/2 points the previous week. The yield on cash 10-year Treasury notes finished down about 5 basis points at 1.99 percent after rising to its highest level in 11 months a week ago after a surprisingly strong report on U.S. hirings in February. The U.S. Labor Department said last Friday that U.S. employers added 236,000 workers last month, more than 160,000 forecast by economists. The jobless rate unexpected fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January.