May 11, 2018 / 8:50 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators cut U.S. dollar shorts to lowest in 11 weeks -CFTC, Reuters data

 (Adds table, bitcoin futures, analyst comment, byline)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, May 11 (Reuters) - Speculators' net short dollar
position in the latest week fell to its lowest level in nearly
three months, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity
Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.
    The value of the net short dollar position was $10.84
billion in the week ended May 8, from $15.15 billion the
previous week. This week's dollar net shorts were the smallest
since the week ended Feb. 20. 
    Short-term investors have been short the dollar since
mid-July last year.
    U.S. dollar positioning was derived from net contracts of
International Monetary Market speculators in the yen, euro,
British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars.
    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 equivalent to $13.31 billion, down from $18.32
billion the previous week. 
    That broader net short dollar positioning was the lowest
since mid-March. 
    Sentiment on the dollar has markedly improved in the last
few weeks due to surging bond yields and signs of rising
inflation that have spurred expectations of more aggressive
interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
    Over the last two weeks, the dollar has rallied more than 2
percent against a basket of six major currencies. 
    The dollar's path, however, could change in the next few
weeks. This week brought data showing a weaker-than-expected
inflation outlook, which has pressured the greenback.
    "Expectations of accelerated U.S. inflation have tentatively
cooled due to a series of tepid data readings, including U.S.
wage growth, the producer price index, and the consumer price
index, all of which were generally weaker than expected," said
James Chen, head of research at Forex.com in Bedminster, New
Jersey. 
    "Cumulatively, these lower inflation readings have combined
to give the U.S. dollar some pause," he added.
    Speculators' net short position on bitcoin Cboe futures
edged up to 1,635 contracts from 1,597 contracts
the previous week, the data showed.
    After experiencing a slowdown for most of the year amid
concerns of a clamp-down by regulators, bitcoin has recovered
some ground in recent weeks.
    For the week, however, bitcoin fell 5.2 percent
on the BitStamp platform, after rising for five straight weeks.
    
Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $0.626 billion
         08 May 2018            Prior week
         week             
 Long             51,812            57,349
 Short            57,274            58,754
 Net              -5,462            -1,405
 
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $-17.868 billion
         08 May 2018            Prior week
         week             
 Long            226,601           221,011
 Short           106,096           100,443
 Net             120,505           120,568
 
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $-0.761 billion
         08 May 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             62,194           84,565
 Short            53,206           58,193
 Net               8,988           26,372
 
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $4.07 billion
         08 May 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             25,690           28,810
 Short            58,292           48,266
 Net             -32,602          -19,456
 
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $1.843 billion
         08 May 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             33,156           25,940
 Short            57,017           53,475
 Net             -23,861          -27,535
 
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $1.249 billion 
         08 May 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             62,751           63,321
 Short            79,517           68,993
 Net             -16,766           -5,672
 
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-1.947 billion
         08 May 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long            109,911          129,849
 Short            33,723           43,808
 Net              76,188           86,041
 
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $-0.874 billion 
         08 May 2018           Prior week
         week             
 Long             29,004           29,899
 Short            16,458           13,326
 Net              12,546           16,573
 
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Dan Grebler)
  
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