LONDON Hedge funds and other large speculators cut their bets on higher Brent crude oil and gasoil sharply in the week to July 22, IntercontinentalExchange Inc. said on Monday, following a big fall in prices.
The ICE said money managers reduced their net long futures and options positions in Brent by 34,786 contracts to 117,195, and at the same time cut their net long gasoil positions by 13,947 contracts to 20,604.
Net long Brent positions held by money managers are now less than half their record peak of 242,201 contracts in the week to June 24, while gasoil net longs are under a third of their total of 77,256 seen in the same week.
Brent crude oil hit a 10-month high above $115 per barrel on June 19 after Sunni Islamist insurgents swept across large parts of Iraq, raising worries over the security of oil supplies in the Middle East gulf.
But oil prices have collapsed since then and were trading at around $107.50 by 1100 GMT on Monday, having reached an intraday low under $105 a barrel earlier this month.
(Reporting by Christopher Johnson, editing by Louise Heavens)