September 22, 2017 / 9:42 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators add to bearish bets against U.S. dollar -CFTC, Reuters

 (Adds details, comments, tabular data, byline)
    By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
    NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Speculators' net short bets on
the U.S. dollar grew in the latest week to the highest total
since January 2013, according to calculations by Reuters and
Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.
    The value of the dollar's net short position, derived from
net positions of International Monetary Market speculators in
the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and
Australian dollars, totaled $13.19 billion, in the week to Sept.
    That compares with a net short position of $11.57 billion
the previous week and marks the fifth straight week of increases
in the net bearish bet against the greenback.
    To be short a currency means traders believe it will fall in
    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 valued at $16.65 billion, up slightly from $16.36
billion a week earlier.
    Investors have increasingly lost faith in U.S. President
Donald Trump's ability to pass his proposed tax cuts and
infrastructure spending plans through Congress, which were
expected to pump up growth and inflation, increasing the pace of
interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
    Wednesday's signal from the U.S. central bank that it may
raise interest rates for a third time this year, gave the dollar
a small boost.
    "The Fed may have changed the market's sentiment a little
bit about the dollar, at least in the short term," said Sireen
Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in New York.
    "But I don't think it's going to see the kind of strength
that we would expect had the administration been able to
implement some of the policies that were expected at the
beginning of the year," she said, adding: "My guess would be
that the next week's data is going to show some of these short
positions trimmed."
    The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
six major currencies, was up 0.34 percent for the week.
    Meanwhile, the net short position in sterling shrank to
10,161 contracts, the least since November 2015.
    The BoE surprised markets on Sept. 14 when it said, despite
the big uncertainties about Brexit, that most of its
policymakers thought a rate hike was likely in the coming
months, if underlying inflation pressure continues to grow.
    "This has led some people to expect gains in the pound going
forward," said Harajli.
    BoE's interest-rate setters have to decide whether to raise
British interest rates for the first time in a decade in six
weeks' time.
Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $5.749 billion
         Sept. 19, 2017         Prior week
 Long             42,435            40,642
 Short            93,757            97,939
 Net             -51,322           -57,297
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $-9.407 billion
         Sept. 19, 2017         Prior week
 Long            190,025           191,102
 Short           127,272           105,044
 Net              62,753            86,058
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $0.858 billion
         Sept. 19, 2017        Prior week
 Long             76,556           68,938
 Short            86,717          115,023
 Net             -10,161          -46,085
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $0.204 billion
         Sept. 19, 2017        Prior week
 Long             13,387           13,556
 Short            14,956           14,870
 Net              -1,569           -1,314
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $-4.789 billion
         Sept. 19, 2017        Prior week
 Long            100,675           91,645
 Short            41,829           41,146
 Net              58,846           50,499
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $-5.807 billion 
         Sept. 19, 2017        Prior week
 Long            102,990          101,713
 Short            30,478           38,680
 Net              72,512           63,033
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-2.163 billion
         Sept. 19, 2017        Prior week
 Long            136,338          143,188
 Short            59,386           26,190
 Net              76,952          116,998
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $-0.488 billion 
         Sept. 19, 2017        Prior week
 Long             23,248           25,150
 Short            16,578           12,800
 Net               6,670           12,350

 (Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed, editing by G Crosse)
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