April 5, 2019 / 8:48 PM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. net long dollar bets rise to highest since December -CFTC, Reuters data

 (Adds details of data, bitcoin futures contracts, table)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - Speculators raised their net
long U.S. dollar position to the highest level since around late
December, according to calculations by Reuters and U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.
    The value of the net long dollar position was $32.30 
billion in the week ended April 2, compared with $29.25 billion
the previous week.
    U.S. dollar positioning was derived from net contracts of
International Monetary Market speculators in the Japanese yen,
euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian
dollars.
    In a broader 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 long position of $27.68 billion in the week ended April 2, 
compared with $24.22 billion the previous week.    
    Despite the Federal Reserve's shift toward holding off on
interest rate hikes, the dollar has held steady, boosted by data
that showed generally stable growth for the world's largest
economy.
    The dollar's fortunes have also been helped by Britain's
woes in its planned exit from the European Union, with investors
buying the greenback as a safe-haven currency.
    Britain could ask the European Union for a long Brexit delay
next week if crisis talks between Prime Minister Theresa May's
government and the opposition Labor Party fail to find a way out
of the impasse over Brexit.
    The euro has struggled, benefiting the dollar, as the
European Central Bank also took a dovish turn by restarting its
stimulus program last month through a new round of cheap loans
to banks.
    The dollar index so far this year was up 1.2 percent, after
gains of 4.4 percent in 2018.
    In the cryptocurrency market, speculators' net short
position on bitcoin Cboe futures further increased to 1,343 
contracts in the week ended April 2, from 1,244
short contracts the previous week.
    Cboe Global Markets, however, said last month it no
longer planned to offer bitcoin futures contracts, as the
exchange operator reassesses its plans for trading digital asset
derivatives amid slumping volumes.
    Currently listed Cboe XBT futures contracts, which expire in
June, remain available for trading, Cboe said.
    Bitcoin though has started to creep higher, hitting a
roughly five-month high of $5,345 early this week on the
Bitstamp platform, after a major order by an anonymous buyer set
off a frenzy of computer-driven trading, analysts said.

    On Friday, bitcoin was up 2.4 percent at
$5,029.53. 
   
Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $7.02 billion
         02 Apr 2019            Prior week
         week             
 Long             20,462            18,323
 Short            83,203            80,444
 Net             -62,741           -62,121
 
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $11.303 billion
         02 Apr 2019            Prior week
         week             
 Long            144,973           139,696
 Short           244,157           219,974
 Net             -99,184           -80,278
 
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $0.708 billion
         02 Apr 2019           Prior week
         week             
 Long             39,423           33,638
 Short            49,354           42,220
 Net              -9,931           -8,582
 
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $3.431 billion
         02 Apr 2019           Prior week
         week             
 Long              7,280            5,759
 Short            33,546           33,054
 Net             -26,266          -27,295
 
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $2.957 billion
         02 Apr 2019           Prior week
         week             
 Long             24,619           21,194
 Short            68,942           60,765
 Net             -44,323          -39,571
 
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $3.829 billion 
         02 Apr 2019           Prior week
         week             
 Long             26,551           22,879
 Short            82,294           76,549
 Net             -55,743          -53,670
 
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-3.83 billion
         02 Apr 2019           Prior week
         week             
 Long            186,698          198,612
 Short            43,975           52,278
 Net             142,723          146,334
 
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $0.014 billion 
         02 Apr 2019           Prior week
         week             
 Long             20,854           22,570
 Short            21,259           22,772
 Net                -405             -202
 
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Richard
Chang)
  
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