UPDATE 1-Speculators boost U.S. dollar bets for 3rd week -CFTC, Reuters data

 (Adds data, quote, table)
    March 24 (Reuters) - Speculators increased bullish bets on
the U.S. dollar for the third straight week, pushing net longs
to their highest since Jan. 31, data from the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission released on Friday and calculations by
Reuters showed.
    The value of the dollar's net long position totaled $18.44
billion in the week ended March 21, up from $17.59 billion the
previous week.
    The value of the dollar has decreased since Tuesday, the
last day the CFTC collected data, as concerns about how quickly
the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump would be able
to implement pro-growth policies kindled safe-haven demand for
currencies like the Japanese yen and Swiss franc.
    The dollar index, which tracks the dollar against six
major currencies, had been above 100 since early February and
fell below that level on Tuesday for the first time since Feb.
    Prior to Tuesday's market re-route on the so-called Trump
trade, the dollar had strengthened steadily in anticipation of
an increase in U.S. overnight interest rates by the Federal
    The Fed did raise rates on March 16, but the dollar came
under pressure when the central bank stuck to its forecast for
three hikes this year and included warnings about subdued
inflation, undermining investors' hopes for a more hawkish
sounding statement.
    That sent the dollar down, prompting a buying opportunity
for speculators, said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at
Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.
    "It was a week in which many (speculators) could’ve seen the
dollar selloff as overdone," Esiner said.
    Net short bets on the Japanese yen fell during the week
after rising last week to their highest level since mid-January.
    To be long a currency is to bet its value will rise, while a
short position is a bet that a currency's value will fall.
    The Reuters calculation for the aggregate U.S. dollar
position is derived from net positions of International Monetary
speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and
Canadian and Australian dollars.
Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $7.768 billion
         21 Mar 2017            Prior week
 Long             35,039            35,563
 Short           102,026           106,860
 Net             -66,987           -71,297
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $5.437 billion
         21 Mar 2017            Prior week
 Long            159,590           148,272
 Short           179,252           189,299
 Net             -19,662           -41,027
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $8.136 billion
         21 Mar 2017           Prior week
 Long             32,586           42,367
 Short           140,430          149,484
 Net            -107,844         -107,117
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $1.114 billion
         21 Mar 2017           Prior week
 Long              9,089           12,950
 Short            21,068           21,947
 Net             -11,979           -8,997
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $-1.592 billion
         21 Mar 2017           Prior week
 Long             30,293           74,620
 Short            54,696           53,162
 Net             -24,403           21,458
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $-3.27 billion 
         21 Mar 2017           Prior week
 Long             85,397           73,553
 Short            40,442           30,288
 Net              44,955           43,265
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $0.139 billion
         21 Mar 2017           Prior week
 Long             57,730           51,271
 Short            61,011           56,738
 Net              -3,281           -5,467
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $0.388 billion 
         21 Mar 2017           Prior week
 Long             16,599           19,509
 Short            29,209           25,114
 Net             -12,610           -5,605
 (Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Editing by James Dalgleish)