October 5, 2018 / 8:52 PM / 9 months ago

U.S. dollar net longs hit highest since December 2016: CFTC data

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Speculators’ net long bets on the U.S. dollar rose to their largest since mid-December 2016, according to calculations by Reuters and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. five dollar note is seen in this illustration photo June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo

The value of the net long dollar position was $26.68 billion in the week ended Oct. 2, from $23.17 billion the previous week.

U.S. dollar positioning was derived from net contracts of International Monetary Market speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars.

In a wider measure of dollar positioning <0#NETUSDFX=> 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 of $27.427 billion in the week ended Oct. 2, up from $24.796 billion a week earlier.

The dollar has been on a tear since the last week of September as the Federal Reserve flagged multiple interest rate hikes this year and in 2019. Over the last seven days, the dollar index has gained 2.1 percent.

On Friday, the dollar retreated slightly, but no one doubts that its trajectory is on the way up.

“The relative strength of the U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve’s resolve to tighten monetary policy is unquestionable,” said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy, at BK Asset Management in New York.

She added that the dollar on any dip, is very much a buy.

In the cryptocurrency market, speculators’ net short position on bitcoin Cboe futures rose to 1,297 contracts <0#1CFTC1330E1> in the latest week, from 1,173 the previous week, data showed.

Bitcoin on Friday slipped 0.1 percent to $6,539.30 BTC=BTSP on the Bitstamp platform.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Tom Brown

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