U.S. Markets

U.S. dollar longs slip; yen longs at eight-year high-CFTC

A boy walks past an exchange bureau advertisement showing images of the U.S dollar in Cairo, Egypt, Feburary 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

(Reuters) - Speculators pared bullish bets on the U.S. dollar, with net longs falling below $10 billion for a fourth straight week, according to Reuters calculations and data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday.

The value of the dollar’s net long position declined to $6.88 billion in the week ended March 8, from $7.45 billion the previous week.

The U.S. February jobs report last week showed a drop in wages overshadowed strong jobs growth, feeding views the Federal Reserve was in no hurry to hike interest rates. The dollar weakened, and its poor performance continued early this week as concerns about weak Chinese data spurred safe-haven demand for the yen and Swiss franc.

So far in March, the dollar index was down 2 percent, on track for its weakest monthly performance since last April.

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 64,333 this week, from 59,625 the week before.

Fears about a British exit from the EU and persistent concerns about the global economy have boosted the yen, a safe-haven currency that so far this year has gained 5.4 percent against the dollar.

Net shorts on the euro rose to the largest since early February. This week, net euro shorts rose to 71,907 contracts from 68,541 previously.

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.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Bernard Orr and David Gregorio