(Adds speculator bets on yen, euro, pound, franc)
By Kate Duguid
NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) - Speculators modestly increased their bullish bets on the U.S. dollar in the week to Feb. 26 to the largest position since mid-January, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Tuesday.
The value of the dollar’s net long position, derived from net positions of International Monetary Market speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars, totaled $23.84 billion compared with $23.81 billion in the prior period.
Short positions in safe-haven currencies grew as investor appetite for risk increased. Net short contracts on the Japanese yen increased for the second week. Short positions in the Swiss franc also increased, for the third consecutive week, last at minus 25,349.
Investors modestly trimmed their net short positions in the euro to minus 72,455 contracts in the latest week, from minus 74,934 the week prior. This marked the first decrease in short bets in six weeks.
Europe’s single currency has struggled as worries grow about the state of the euro zone economy. The euro fell 0.65 percent in February.
As British Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated the UK’s exit from the European Union, short bets against the pound also declined in the week to Feb. 26, last at minus 39,263 from minus 47,528 in the week prior. (Reporting by Kate Duguid; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Rosalba O’Brien)