May 4, 2018 / 8:52 PM / 21 days ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators' bearish bets on U.S. dollar at seven-week low

 (Adds table, comment, details, byline)
    By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
    NEW YORK, May 4 (Reuters) - Speculators' net short dollar
bets fell to a seven-week low in the latest week, according to
calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission
data released on Friday.
    The value of the net short dollar positions, derived from
net positions of International Monetary Market speculators in
the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and
Australian dollars, was $15.15 billion in the week to May 1.
    That compares with a net short position of $19.77 billion
the previous week.
    To be short a currency means traders believe it will fall in
value.
    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 $18.32 billion, compared with a short
position valued at $23.81 billion a week earlier.
    The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, is up 0.5 percent for
the year. The index, which started the year on a weak footing,
has risen about 4 percent since mid-February.
    The greenback strengthened as investors bet the Federal
Reserve will continue raising rates while other central banks,
including the European Central Bank (ECB), will act more slowly.
    "The outlook for continued, gradual Fed policy tightening
and a much more cautious approach to normalization by other
major central banks remains a big part of the dollar’s recent
rally," Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth
Foreign Exchange Inc in Washington D.C., said in a note.
    On Friday, the dollar index jumped to its highest this year
despite disappointing U.S. employment data for April.

    Swiss franc net shorts, meanwhile, grew to 19,456 contracts,
the most since February, CFTC data showed.
    Speculators' bets on the Japanese yen swung to a net short
position of 1,405 contracts.
    Speculators' net short position on bitcoin CBOE futures
shrank to 1,597 contracts, from 1,829 contracts the previous
week, the data showed.
    After experiencing a slowdown for most of the year amid
concerns of a clampdown on the space by regulators, bitcoin has
recovered some ground in recent weeks.
    For the week, bitcoin, was up 2.7 percent on the
BitStamp platform, its fifth-straight week of gains.
    
    Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $0.16 billion
         May 1, 2018            Prior week
         week             
 Long             57,349            59,253
 Short            58,754            58,670
 Net              -1,405               583
 
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $-18.075 billion
         May 1, 2018            Prior week
         week             
 Long            221,011           216,944
 Short           100,443            86,350
 Net             120,568           130,594
 
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $-2.243 billion
         May 1, 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             84,565           90,186
 Short            58,193           52,821
 Net              26,372           37,365
 
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $2.441 billion
         May 1, 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             28,810           29,376
 Short            48,266           39,601
 Net             -19,456          -10,225
 
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $2.143 billion
         May 1, 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             25,940           23,559
 Short            53,475           48,703
 Net             -27,535          -25,144
 
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $0.425 billion 
         May 1, 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             63,321           49,580
 Short            68,993           52,976
 Net              -5,672           -3,396
 
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-2.271 billion
         May 1, 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long            129,849          140,739
 Short            43,808           51,956
 Net              86,041           88,783
 
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $-1.161 billion 
         May 1, 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             29,899           39,933
 Short            13,326           15,499
 Net              16,573           24,434
 
 (Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
Editing by Dan Grebler and Chris Reese)
  
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