December 16, 2016 / 9:44 PM / 7 months ago

U.S. dollar net longs steady; yen shorts rise: CFTC, Reuters data

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. dollar net long positions were little changed this week, affirming a trend in place for the last several weeks since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

The value of the dollar's net long position was $28.01 billion in the week ended Dec. 13, marginally down from $28.14 billion the previous week, according to Reuters calculations and data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday.

Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, said investors were taking profits on their long dollar position.

"Being a dollar bull has paid off handsomely over the past two months with the greenback rising 15 percent against the Japanese yen and more than 7.5 percent against the euro," said Lien.

"Both the speed and velocity of the move has been incredible and when such abrupt fluctuations occur, it is natural to expect profit-taking."

She still believes the dollar is a buy on dips, unless U.S. data, Federal Reserve comments, and U.S. interest rates suggest otherwise.

Net shorts on the yen rose to their largest since early December last year, at 63,429 contracts.

Data such as Japan's Tankan report on the economy has been weaker than expected, prompting a sell-off in the yen. But declines in the yen should prove supportive of a Japanese economy dependent on exports.

The Bank of Japan's monetary policy decision next week could lead to a modest rebound for the yen against the dollar, especially if no changes are made, as expected, said James Chen, head of research at Forex.com in Bedminster, New Jersey.

For the most part though, dollar/yen JPY= remains on an upward path. The next major upside targets for the currency pair are the 120.00 yen level followed by the key 122.00 resistance.

Sterling GBP=D4 net short contracts, meanwhile, continued their decline, falling to 72,343, their smallest since the third week of September.

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.

Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen)

$6.885 billion

Dec. 13, 2016 Prior week

week

Long 62,432 74,367

Short 125,861 108,304

Net -63,429 -33,937

EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)

$11.623 billion

Dec. 13, 2016 Prior week

week

Long 123,597 123,390

Short 211,110 237,946

Net -87,513 -114,556

POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)

$5.722 billion

Dec. 13, 2016 Prior week

week

Long 40,515 43,169

Short 112,858 120,407

Net -72,343 -77,238

SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)

$3.124 billion

Dec. 13, 2016 Prior week

week

Long 5,600 9,859

Short 30,888 35,256

Net -25,288 -25,397

CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)

$1.666 billion

Dec. 13, 2016 Prior week

week

Long 24,035 21,538

Short 45,904 39,696

Net -21,869 -18,158

AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)

$-1.01 billion

Dec. 13, 2016 Prior week

week

Long 40,290 48,274

Short 26,817 27,403

Net 13,473 20,871

MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)

$1.422 billion

Dec. 13, 2016 Prior week

week

Long 19,001 18,619

Short 76,660 72,685

Net -57,659 -54,066

NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)

$0.267 billion

Dec. 13, 2016 Prior week

week

Long 29,402 27,641

Short 33,104 31,593

Net -3,702 -3,952

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by James Dalgleish

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