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UPDATE 1-Speculators increase net-short dollar bets to $4.28 billion -CFTC and Reuters

 (Adds details, quotes, data)
    By Dion Rabouin
    Dec 8 (Reuters) - Speculators increased their bearish,
net-short bets on the U.S. dollar to $4.28 billion in latest
week of trading, marking the 21st straight week of net-negative
speculator dollar positioning, data from the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission calculated by Reuters showed.
    It was the third straight increase in bearish positioning
for the dollar and the largest net-negative position since Oct.
24.
    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 an increase from last week's reading
of$3.93 billion in the week ended Nov. 28.
    The dollar rose this week in foreign exchange currency
markets, buoyed by optimism about a tax reform proposal before
the U.S. Congress and almost universal expectations for an
interest rate increase next week by the Federal Reserve.
    Investors are also beginning to expect the Fed to raise
rates multiple times next year, with many analysts projecting
four rate hikes in 2018.
    The tax proposal would slash corporate tax rates and could
lead to faster growth and spending, prompting further interest
rate increases by the Fed to keep a lid on inflation.
    Higher interest rates make a currency more attractive for
investors to hold.
    However, speculators continued to sell dollars, driving
lower the overall level of dollar positioning. The dollar's
value against six major currencies has risen over the
past two weeks, but had fallen in the three previous weeks as
investors began to doubt the tax cut's impact on the economy. 
    Another reason for the dollar's fall may have been the
growing attractiveness of other assets, including bitcoin and
other cryptocurrencies. Demand for the alternative currencies
has crashed cryptocurrency websites and sent the value of
bitcoin to an all-time high above $16,000 per bitcoin this week.
    "It's about the very nature of how other mediums of tender
will affect fluctuations of the dollar," said Juan Perez,
currency strategist at Tempus Inc in Washington. "There is a lot
of uncertainty about how exactly this new medium will work and
what type of adaptation will there be."
    Perez added, "It really comes to a matter of the options."
    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) 
 $12.687 billion
         05 Dec 2017            Prior week
         week             
 Long             34,766            39,793
 Short           149,033           150,433
 Net            -114,267          -110,640
 
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $-13.761 billion
         05 Dec 2017            Prior week
         week             
 Long            205,400           205,160
 Short           112,294           115,479
 Net              93,106            89,681
 
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $-0.538 billion
         05 Dec 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long             89,270           66,549
 Short            82,864           61,976
 Net               6,406            4,573
 
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $3.744 billion
         05 Dec 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long             17,891           17,581
 Short            47,458           47,765
 Net             -29,567          -30,184
 
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $-3.347 billion
         05 Dec 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long             66,467           67,882
 Short            24,001           22,224
 Net              42,466           45,658
 
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $-3.067 billion 
         05 Dec 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long             83,634           78,202
 Short            43,306           39,320
 Net              40,328           38,882
 
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-2.574 billion
         05 Dec 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long            121,003          112,966
 Short            24,480           23,400
 Net              96,523           89,566
 
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $0.886 billion 
         05 Dec 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long             24,228           23,960
 Short            37,121           37,982
 Net             -12,893          -14,022
      

 (Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Editing by Diane Craft and Sandra
Maler)
  
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