November 22, 2019 / 8:47 PM / 2 months ago

Speculators boost net long USD bets to five-week high: CFTC, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Speculators raised their net long bets on the U.S. dollar in the latest week to a five-week high, according to calculations by Reuters and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: An employee of a bank counts US dollar notes at a branch in Hanoi, Vietnam May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kham

The value of the net long dollar position was $18.36 billion in the week ended Nov. 19. The net long dollar position had stood at $15.70 billion last week.

To be long a currency means traders believe it will rise in value, while being short points to a bearish bias. 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 wider measure of dollar positioning NETUSDALL= 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 valued at $17.01 billion, up from $14.32 billion a week earlier.

The dollar has remained strong against major currencies in recent weeks even as its gains have been capped.

On Friday, the greenback shook off early weakness to advance against a basket of currencies after data showed U.S. factory and services activity quickened in November in a sign of the continued resilience of the U.S. economy.

The dollar index .DXY, which compares the dollar against six major currencies, was up 0.26% at 98.25, a one-week high.

While the overall global growth picture has improved somewhat over the last few months and there is some optimism about the likelihood of a trade deal between the United States and China, neither of these factors have been enough to spur investors to shun the greenback in favor of riskier currencies.

“The dollar is strong but not necessarily rallying,” said Vassili Serebriakov, an FX strategist at UBS in New York.

“I think the market’s bias would be to sell the dollar but we need more confirmation in terms of global data and trade developments and that hasn’t arrived,” Serebriakov said.

Mixed messages on the U.S.-China trade deal this week kept investors from taking on any large directional positions ahead of next week’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; editing by Grant McCool and Rosalba O'Brien

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