April 30, 2018 / 8:17 PM / a year ago

U.S. dollar net shorts fall to lowest since mid-March-CFTC, Reuters data

    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, April 30 (Reuters) - Speculators' net short dollar
position declined to its lowest level since mid-March, according
to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading
Commission data released last Friday, in line with the surge in
U.S. Treasury yields.
    The value of the net short dollar position was $19.77
billion in the week ended April 24, from $23.42 billion the
previous week. 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 $23.81 billion, down from $28.18
billion the previous week.
    Dollar shorts in the previous week had reached an extreme
level that prompted a pullback and rebalancing of positions. 
    The dollar index, a gauge of the greenback's value against
six major currencies, rose 1.4 percent last week, its strongest
weekly gain since the week of February 9. 
    Jane Foley, senior FX strategist, at Rabobank in London
attributed the decline in net short dollars to the firmer tone
of U.S. Treasury yields. 
    Benchmark, U.S. 10-year yields rose more than 3
percent last week, the highest in more than four years,
bolstered by what some market participants believed to be rising
inflation expectations.
    Foley added that while speculators maintained shorts last
week, the U.S. dollar likely picked up support in the spot
market as well.
    Euro longs, meanwhile, pulled back from record highs the
previous week, declining to 130,594 contracts. Rabobank's Foley
said the lack of hawkish commentary at last week's European
Central Bank meeting prompted a softer tone for the euro in the 
spot market. 
    Meanwhile, speculators' net short position on bitcoin Cboe
futures slipped to 1,829 contracts from 1,883
contracts the week before.
    Bitcoin hit an all-time high of just under $20,000 in
December 2017 and has since fallen to as low as $5,920. On
Monday, it was down 0.8 percent on the day at $9,318
on the BitStamp platform.
    After experiencing a slowdown for most of the year amid
concerns of a clampdown on the space by regulators,
crypto-currencies led by bitcoin are starting to regain
traction, analysts said. 
    Thomas Lee, managing partner and co-founder of Fundstrat
Global Advisors, in New York, believes bitcoin has bottomed and
institutional investors have become net buyers of
    Lee said bitcoin could hit $25,000 by the end of the year.
Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $-0.067 billion
         24 Apr 2018            Prior week
 Long             59,253            49,433
 Short            58,670            46,842
 Net                 583             2,591
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $-19.965 billion
         24 Apr 2018            Prior week
 Long            216,944           238,829
 Short            86,350            87,353
 Net             130,594           151,476
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $-3.264 billion
         24 Apr 2018           Prior week
 Long             90,186          113,252
 Short            52,821           65,550
 Net              37,365           47,702
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $1.306 billion
         24 Apr 2018           Prior week
 Long             29,376           24,967
 Short            39,601           35,488
 Net             -10,225          -10,521
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $1.959 billion
         24 Apr 2018           Prior week
 Long             23,559           28,575
 Short            48,703           58,899
 Net             -25,144          -30,324
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $0.258 billion 
         24 Apr 2018           Prior week
 Long             49,580           29,832
 Short            52,976           39,987
 Net              -3,396          -10,155
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-2.359 billion
         24 Apr 2018           Prior week
 Long            140,739          155,624
 Short            51,956           53,783
 Net              88,783          101,841
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $-1.739 billion 
         24 Apr 2018           Prior week
 Long             39,933           47,255
 Short            15,499           19,652
 Net              24,434           27,603
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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