UPDATE 1-Speculators pare back U.S. dollar longs to 4-month low -CFTC, Reuters

 (Adds details, analyst comment, table, byline)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Speculators reduced bullish
bets on the U.S. dollar to their lowest in four months, cutting
net longs for a sixth straight week, according to Commodity
Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday and
calculations by Reuters.
    The value of the dollar's net long position totaled $14.99
billion in the week ended Feb. 14, down from $17.07 billion the 
previous week. The latest dollar positioning was the lowest
since the week ended Oct. 11. 
    The dollar has underperformed so far this year, falling 1.2
percent against a basket of currencies, after gains of 3.6
percent in 2016.
    The dollar has been hurt by a combination of comments from
the Trump administration about preference for a weaker dollar as
well as mixed U.S. economic data suggesting growth in the
world's largest economy may not be as strong as many initially
    The greenback's soft trend so far in 2017, however, is not
expected to last long with a Federal Reserve in the midst of an
interest rate hiking cycle. Fed Chair Janet Yellen earlier this
week affirmed the U.S. central bank's commitment to raising
interest rates multiple times this year, noting that "every FOMC
(Federal Open Market Committee) meeting is a live meeting."
    "It is only a matter of time before the dollar resumes its
rise," said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy at BK
Asset Management in New York.
    "The (dollar) bulls could be hanging back until President
Trump announces his 'phenomenal' tax plan," she added.
    CFTC data also showed net shorts of 51,284 Japanese yen
contracts, the lowest in more than two months.
    The yen has gained 3.5 percent so far this year as the U.S.
dollar struggled. The Japanese currency's movements have been
mostly tied to the greenback's outlook.
    "The inability of U.S. bond yields to hold onto recent gains
highlights the fading confidence surrounding the
administration's ability to enact swift and meaningful fiscal
legislation," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at
Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.
    The Reuters calculation for the aggregate U.S. dollar
position is derived from net positions of International Monetary
Market speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc
and Canadian and Australian dollars.
 Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $5.611 billion
         14 Feb 2017            Prior week
 Long             27,701            25,874
 Short            78,985            80,934
 Net             -51,284           -55,060
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $6.183 billion
         14 Feb 2017            Prior week
 Long            125,333           126,708
 Short           172,097           171,659
 Net             -46,764           -44,951
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $5.106 billion
         14 Feb 2017           Prior week
 Long             39,039           38,135
 Short           104,567          102,674
 Net             -65,528          -64,539
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $1.428 billion
         14 Feb 2017           Prior week
 Long              6,608            7,059
 Short            18,092           21,680
 Net             -11,484          -14,621
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $-1.479 billion
         14 Feb 2017           Prior week
 Long             53,152           46,127
 Short            33,812           37,577
 Net              19,340            8,550
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $-1.855 billion 
         14 Feb 2017           Prior week
 Long             79,313           66,545
 Short            55,095           49,797
 Net              24,218           16,748
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $1.486 billion
         14 Feb 2017           Prior week
 Long             30,271           31,229
 Short            90,484           89,717
 Net             -60,213          -58,488
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $-0.206 billion 
         14 Feb 2017           Prior week
 Long             36,565           34,860
 Short            33,689           33,015
 Net               2,876            1,845
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Richard
Chang and Meredith Mazzilli)