(Adds comments, details, byline, table) By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss March 3 (Reuters) - Speculators reduced bullish bets on the U.S. dollar in the latest week, pushing net longs to their lowest since early October, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday and calculations by Reuters. The value of the dollar's net long position totaled $13.01 billion in the week ended Feb. 28, from $15.02 billion the previous week. Analysts said this week's decline in net long dollar positioning could be temporary in the wake of stronger signals by the Federal Reserve that it may raise rates this month. On Friday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave her strongest signal yet that the U.S. central bank could nudge rates higher when it meets this month. "At our meeting later this month, the committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate," Yellen said at a business luncheon in Chicago. Several of Yellen's colleagues at the Fed have also been signaling a move in March the past several weeks. "The (dollar) bulls are finally listening to the cohesiveness of Fed officials who have been saying all along (doves and hawks) that conditions are prime for tightening," said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management in New York. The dollar fell on Friday in the wake of Yellen's remarks, but that is more due to profit-taking since traders before the Fed chair's remarks wagered that she would strike a hawkish tone. According to Fed fund futures date, the odds of a rate hike this month sits at 90 percent, compared with 40 percent the week before. 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) $5.545 billion Feb. 28, 2017 Prior week week Long 29,012 29,954 Short 79,029 80,116 Net -50,017 -50,162 EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros) $6.763 billion Feb. 28, 2017 Prior week week Long 143,584 130,981 Short 194,748 189,232 Net -51,164 -58,251 POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling) $5.468 billion Feb. 28, 2017 Prior week week Long 43,329 38,253 Short 114,000 104,605 Net -70,671 -66,352 SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs) $1.469 billion Feb. 28, 2017 Prior week week Long 3,569 6,945 Short 15,383 15,881 Net -11,814 -8,936 CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars) $-2.263 billion Feb. 28, 2017 Prior week week Long 63,125 58,780 Short 33,035 34,196 Net 30,090 24,584 AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars) $-3.975 billion Feb. 28, 2017 Prior week week Long 95,696 88,768 Short 43,781 55,246 Net 51,915 33,522 MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos) $1.139 billion Feb. 28, 2017 Prior week week Long 39,057 35,125 Short 84,840 91,606 Net -45,783 -56,481 NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars) $-0.211 billion Feb. 28, 2017 Prior week week Long 37,198 35,252 Short 34,261 32,094 Net 2,937 3,158 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, editing by G Crosse and Lisa Shumaker)
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