July 8, 2016 / 8:55 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators boost dlr, yen bets for safety post-Brexit -CFTC, Reuters

(Adds economist's comment, details on sterling, yen, dollar
contracts, byline)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters) - Currency speculators raised
their net long position on the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen as
they sought safety two weeks after the United Kingdom's shock
vote to exit the European Union.
    The value of the dollar's net long position rose to $4.18
billion in the week ended July 5, from $3.01 billion the
previous week, according to Reuters calculations and data from
the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday.
    It was the eighth straight week that the dollar posted a net
long position.
    Speculators also raised sterling net shorts to 49,031
contracts in the latest week, while they boosted net longs on
the yen to 63,568 contracts, the largest such position since
early May. 
    Short-term investors have been short the British pound since
November, and long the yen since January.
    Since the Brexit vote, the pound has fallen more than 14
    "Post-Brexit-vote pain is beginning, and it will get worse,"
said Bill Witherell, chief global economist at Cumberland
Advisors. "Investors' attitudes about Britain's prospects are
signaled by the tumbling currency."
    It was no surprise that speculators have bought the
safe-haven yen and dollar given sterling's woes.
    The yen has proven to be one of the strongest performers in
the market, with gains of nearly 20 percent so far this year
against the dollar. The currency is on pace to post its best
yearly gain since the 2008 global financial crisis.
    The dollar has had a mixed performance. For the year, the
dollar index has been down 2.4 percent, but since May, it
has gained 5.2 percent on worries about Brexit. 
    The Reuters calculation for the aggregate U.S. dollar
position is derived from net positions of International Monetary
Market speculators in the yen, euro, sterling, Swiss franc and
Canadian and Australian dollars.

Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
         July 5, 2016           Prior week
 Long             87,037            85,493
 Short            23,469            25,743
 Net              63,568            59,750
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
         July 5, 2016           Prior week
 Long            112,011           109,580
 Short           187,338           171,514
 Net             -75,327           -61,934
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
         July 5, 2016          Prior week
 Long             45,746           43,274
 Short            94,777           85,985
 Net             -49,031          -42,711
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
         July 5, 2016          Prior week
 Long             22,474           22,905
 Short            13,796           12,038
 Net               8,678           10,867
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
         July 5, 2016          Prior week
 Long             41,031           38,675
 Short            29,514           30,726
 Net              11,517            7,949
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
         July 5, 2016          Prior week
 Long             33,794           32,556
 Short            28,891           34,508
 Net               4,903           -1,952
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
         July 5, 2016          Prior week
 Long             24,238           13,390
 Short            69,095           78,717
 Net             -44,857          -65,327
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
         July 5, 2016          Prior week
 Long             30,606           29,798
 Short            32,009           32,624
 Net              -1,403           -2,826
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Leslie Adler
and Richard Chang)
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