(Adds analyst comments, byline, details, table) By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Speculators' net short bets on the U.S. dollar fell to their smallest in nearly three months, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday. The value of the dollar's net short position was $8.02 billion in the week ended Oct. 24, down from net shorts of $12.65 billion the previous week. Investors have pared back net short bets on the dollar for four straight weeks. Generally positive U.S. data over the past month as well as hawkish rhetoric from the Federal Reserve that boosted expectations for a rate hike in December have boosted the dollar. The dollar on Friday rose to a three-month high, although on the year so far, it was still down 7 percent. "Between the introduction of the tax bill on Nov. 1 and the prospect of a Fed chair announcement before Trump takes off to Asia on Nov. 3, we believe next week will be another good week for the U.S. dollar," said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management in New York. The dollar's net positioning was derived from net futures 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 valued at $10.72 billion, down from $16.33 billion the previous week. Yen shorts, meanwhile, rose to their largest since July. The Japanese currency has been hampered by persistently low inflation. "(Japan) has a ton of different ways of measuring inflation, and all of them show basically the same story: no inflation after some 20 years of near-zero interest rates," said Marshall Glitter, chief strategist, at ACLS Global. The yen though was still up nearly 3 percent against the dollar. Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) $12.826 billion 24 Oct 2017 Prior week week Long 60,077 55,010 Short 176,934 156,296 Net -116,857 -101,286 EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros) $-12.274 billion 24 Oct 2017 Prior week week Long 183,539 186,751 Short 100,035 96,299 Net 83,504 90,452 POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling) $0.122 billion 24 Oct 2017 Prior week week Long 66,162 72,871 Short 67,647 67,824 Net -1,485 5,047 SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs) $1.463 billion 24 Oct 2017 Prior week week Long 22,539 22,174 Short 34,136 27,105 Net -11,597 -4,931 CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars) $-5.708 billion 24 Oct 2017 Prior week week Long 96,561 94,507 Short 24,229 19,421 Net 72,332 75,086 AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars) $-4.451 billion 24 Oct 2017 Prior week week Long 85,819 85,763 Short 28,569 23,963 Net 57,250 61,800 MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos) $-1.449 billion 24 Oct 2017 Prior week week Long 87,536 98,936 Short 31,835 27,869 Net 55,701 71,067 NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars) $-0.042 billion 24 Oct 2017 Prior week week Long 20,549 20,423 Short 19,938 13,446 Net 611 6,977 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; editing by Susan Thomas)
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