March 4, 2016 / 9:25 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Dollar longs still lowest in 2 yrs; yen longs highest in 8 yrs-CFTC, Reuters

(Adds table, details on yen contracts)
    March 4 (Reuters) - Speculators increased bullish bets on
the U.S. dollar for the first time in 10 weeks, although net
longs were still the smallest since late May 2014, according to
Reuters calculations and data from the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission released on Friday.
    The value of the dollar's net long position rose to $7.45
billion in the week ended March 1, from $5.75 billion the
previous week. Net dollar longs came in below $10 billion for a
third straight week.
    The dollar benefited last week from heightened fears of a
possible British exit from the European Union, undermining
sterling and the euro. 
    In addition, U.S. data in the latest week were positive
overall, such as the rise in consumer spending and a less dire
report on economic growth for the fourth quarter. That together
with Friday's strong U.S. jobs report for February have somewhat
revived expectations for a couple of U.S. rate hikes this year.
    The dollar though was still down 1.4 percent so far
this year.
    In other currencies, investors pushed net long positions on
the yen to their highest in eight years. Net long contracts on
the yen rose to 59,625 in the latest week, from 52,734 the week
before.
    Fears about a British exit from the EU and persistent
concerns about the oil and stock markets have helped the yen,
given that it's a safe-haven currency.
    The yen tends to struggle in times of increased risk
appetite because it is often used to fund investments in
riskier, but higher-yielding currencies. In times of market
stress, investors typically sell those riskier assets and buy
back the Japanese currency.
    So far this year, the yen has gained 5.6 percent against the
dollar.
    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.

Japan Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen): 
         March 1, 2016  Prior week
         week           
 Long           94,070      92,376
 Short          34,445      39,642
 Net            59,625      52,734
 
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros):
         March 1, 2016  Prior week
         week           
 Long          103,965     107,566
 Short         172,506     154,423
 Net           -68,541     -46,857
 
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling):
         March 1, 2016   Prior week
         week           
 Long           38,965       35,479
 Short          78,343       68,547
 Net           -39,378      -33,068
 
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs):
         March 1, 2016   Prior week
         week           
 Long           19,723       20,213
 Short          21,230       22,534
 Net            -1,507       -2,321
 
CANADA DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
         March 1, 2016  Prior week
         week           
 Long           31,018      31,487
 Short          61,496      68,427
 Net           -30,478     -36,940
 
AUSTRALIA DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
         March 1, 2016   Prior week
         week           
 Long           76,480       72,523
 Short          59,619       62,948
 Net            16,861        9,575
 
MEXICO PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
         March 1, 2016   Prior week
         week           
 Long           25,194       30,149
 Short          81,667       83,008
 Net           -56,473      -52,859
 
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 NZ dollars)
         March 1, 2016   Prior week
         week           
 Long           16,593       15,968
 Short          20,750       22,583
 Net            -4,157       -6,615
 
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by James
Dalgleish)
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