NEW YORK (Reuters) - Speculators’ net short bets on the U.S. dollar grew to their highest since January 2013 in the latest week, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.
The value of the dollar’s net short position, derived from net positions of International Monetary Market speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars, was $10.89 billion in the week to Aug. 29.
The previous week’s net short position was $10.28 billion (7.79 billion pounds).
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 $15.528 billion, compared with $14.66 billion a week earlier.
James Chen, head of research at FOREX.com, in Bedminster, New Jersey, said an increasingly dovish U.S. outlook for interest rates, monetary policy, and fiscal policy have continued to undermine the dollar.
He noted that the dollar could be set for an impending breakdown against the yen below the support level, especially if global risk factors further boost safe-haven demand for the Japanese currency.
The dollar has lost roughly 8 percent versus the yen so far this year.
Meanwhile, the euro long bets rose to 96,309 contracts, their largest since May 2011. The euro’s ascent has been supported by expectations that the European Central Bank will end stimulus to the euro zone.
Reuters reported on Friday that European Central Bank policymakers agreed at their meeting on Thursday that their next step would be to begin reducing monetary stimulus, three sources with direct knowledge of the discussion said.
So far in 2017, the euro has gained nearly 15 percent against the dollar, on track for its best yearly performance in 14 years.
Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; editing by Diane Craft and David Gregorio