(Adds analyst comment, table) By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) - Speculators' net short U.S. dollar positioning soared to the highest level since August 2011, according to calculations by Reuters and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday. The position hit $24.27 billion in the week ended July 28, up from $18.81 billion the prior period. U.S. net shorts rose for a fourth straight week as bets against the greenback have persisted since mid-March. U.S. dollar positioning was derived from net contracts of International Monetary Market speculators in the Japanese yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc as well as the 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 ruble, the U.S. dollar posted a net short position of $24.53 billion, compared with net shorts of $19.37 billion the week before. This week's net short position was largest since April 2018, according to Reuters data. In contrast, net euro longs hit a record high, CFTC data showed. Net euro longs were 157,559 contracts this week. The greenback has struggled over the last few months, driven by factors including near-zero interest rates as well as Federal Reserve measures that flooded the international market with dollars via swap lines. The buck was down about 10% from the year's high hit in March against a basket of currencies. On Friday the dollar fell to its lowest in more than two years. "The combination of falling real rates and rising risk assets has been a dominating force across markets over the past few months, which has likely contributed to the dollar sell-off over the same period," said Goldman Sachs in a research note on Friday. The euro's outperformance kicked off in high gear when European Union leaders a few weeks ago clinched a massive stimulus plan that likely meant a less steep regional downturn. Since its March lows as the coronavirus pandemic forced lockdowns across Europe, the euro has soared 12% versus the dollar. Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) $-3.391 billion 28 Jul 2020 Prior week week Long 62,924 50,854 Short 34,417 31,547 Net 28,507 19,307 EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros) $-23.071 billion 28 Jul 2020 Prior week week Long 242,127 204,185 Short 84,568 79,138 Net 157,559 125,047 POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling) $2.053 billion 28 Jul 2020 Prior week week Long 39,329 46,230 Short 64,738 61,310 Net -25,409 -15,080 SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs) $-1.15 billion 28 Jul 2020 Prior week week Long 17,654 17,761 Short 9,212 10,382 Net 8,442 7,379 CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars) $0.934 billion 28 Jul 2020 Prior week week Long 32,105 34,284 Short 44,601 50,982 Net -12,496 -16,698 AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars) $0.359 billion 28 Jul 2020 Prior week week Long 42,402 41,778 Short 47,414 41,983 Net -5,012 -205 MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos) $-0.248 billion 28 Jul 2020 Prior week week Long 51,851 49,461 Short 40,987 39,613 Net 10,864 9,848 NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars) $0.056 billion 28 Jul 2020 Prior week week Long 17,383 19,597 Short 18,228 17,122 Net -845 2,475 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Tom Brown and Richard Chang)
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