October 26, 2018 / 9:04 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators trim bullish U.S. dollar bets to four-week low: CFTC, Reuters

 (Adds comments, details, graphic, table)
    By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
    NEW YORK, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Speculators' net long bets on
the U.S. dollar fell slightly in the latest week to a four-week
low, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures
Trading Commission data released on Friday.
    The value of the net long dollar position was $26.16 billion
in the week ended Oct. 23, down from $27.64 billion the previous
week. Speculators were net long dollars for a 19th straight
week, after being short for 48 consecutive weeks.
    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 yen, euro,
British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars.
    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
long position valued at $27.14 billion, compared with a net long
position valued at $28.46 billion a week earlier.
    On Friday, the U.S. dollar slipped from a two-month high hit
earlier in the day after data showed the U.S. economy slowed
less than expected in the third quarter as a tariff-related drop
in soybean exports was partially offset by the strongest
consumer spending in nearly four years.

    For the week, the dollar index was up 0.7 percent,
its second straight weekly gain.
    "We have had things like GDP and other measures which show
that the U.S. economy is still strong," said Alfonso Esparza,
senior currency analyst at Oanda in Toronto.
    "We have seen various comments from Fed members still
sticking to the sort of gradual rate hike path," he said.
    The greenback received a boost against the euro earlier this
week after European data signaled that economic growth could be
flagging across the euro zone.
    "It's still the safest bet being long the dollar," said
    Increased volatility in equity markets this week also helped
the greenback in part as risk-averse investors reached for the
U.S. currency's safety, Esparza said.
    In the cryptocurrency market, speculators' net short
position on bitcoin Cboe futures totaled 1,058 contracts, the
smallest such short position since the futures
launched in December last year.
    Bitcoin was little changed at $6,405 on the Bitstamp
platform on Friday.
    Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $10.318 billion
         Oct. 23, 2018          Prior week
 Long             29,922            30,096
 Short           122,726           130,717
 Net             -92,804          -100,621
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $4.344 billion
         Oct. 23, 2018          Prior week
 Long            149,585           140,817
 Short           179,889           170,161
 Net             -30,304           -29,344
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $3.813 billion
         Oct. 23, 2018         Prior week
 Long             33,299           32,153
 Short            80,296           82,506
 Net             -46,997          -50,353
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $2.15 billion
         Oct. 23, 2018         Prior week
 Long             13,213           13,505
 Short            30,318           30,029
 Net             -17,105          -16,524
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $0.552 billion
         Oct. 23, 2018         Prior week
 Long             32,031           32,202
 Short            39,259           43,221
 Net              -7,228          -11,019
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $4.985 billion 
         Oct. 23, 2018         Prior week
 Long             20,207           19,849
 Short            90,575           91,340
 Net             -70,368          -71,491
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-1.504 billion
         Oct. 23, 2018         Prior week
 Long            111,571          127,324
 Short            53,544           58,749
 Net              58,027           68,575
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $2.164 billion 
         Oct. 23, 2018         Prior week
 Long              9,634           11,136
 Short            42,682           46,548
 Net             -33,048          -35,412

 (Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; editing by Sandra Maler and G
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