August 31, 2018 / 9:01 PM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators pare net long U.S. dollar bets in latest week -CFTC, Reuters

 (New throughout, adds details, comments, bitcoin futures; adds
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Speculators reduced their net
long U.S. dollar position in the latest week, after it hit the
highest in more than 1-1/2-years the previous week, according to
calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission
data released on Friday.
    The value of net long dollars was $23.34 billion in the week
ended Aug. 28, down from $23.67 billion the previous week.
Speculators have been net long the dollar for 11 straight weeks,
after being net short for 48 consecutive weeks.
    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 of $24.691 billion in the week ended Aug. 28, from
$24.95 billion a week earlier.
    Extreme net long dollar positioning has prompted short-term
investors to trim those bets. But given the global trade tension
that involves the United States, Canada, China, and the European
Union, speculators could well buy the dollar again as a
safe-haven move.
    The latest saga in the overhaul of the North American Free
Trade Agreement (NAFTA) saw a deal concluded with Mexico earlier
in the week, but not with Canada.
    Canada and the United States ended NAFTA talks on Friday at
loggerheads. U.S. President Donald Trump said a pact would be on
Washington's terms while Ottawa stood firm against signing "just
any deal."
    "There's a lot of uncertainty going into next week," said
Alfonso Esparza, currency strategist, at OANDA in Toronto,
citing the end of the U.S.-Canada trade talks with no resolution
and the possible imposition of more tariffs on China next week.
    "We could see more U.S. dollar buying," he added.
    Over the last six months, the U.S. dollar has gained 9
percent, while the Canadian currency has fallen nearly 5
    In the cryptocurrency market, speculators' net short
position on bitcoin Cboe futures rose to -1,472 contracts  
 from net shorts of -1,266 contracts the previous
week, data showed.
    Bitcoin on Friday rose nearly 1 percent to $7,048.12
 on the Bitstamp platform. It has cleared the $7,000
hurdle on Aug. 28, for the first time in about three weeks.
    Still market participants believe bitcoin and the
cryptocurrency market remain in a slowdown.
    A crypto market forecasting platform called Cindicator noted
that bullish indicators for the crypto market have a lower
probability than bearish ones.
    According to Cindicators' Hybrid Intelligence platform, it
is unlikely that bitcoin will get above $10,000, ether above 
$1,400, or the crypto market capitalization above $600 billion. 
    The forecasting platform also indicated that the crypto
market has yet to hit a bottom this year.  
Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $5.176 billion
         28 Aug 2018            Prior week
 Long             50,230            54,116
 Short            96,271           101,522
 Net             -46,041           -47,406
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $1.055 billion
         28 Aug 2018            Prior week
 Long            171,359           188,907
 Short           178,578           193,748
 Net              -7,219            -4,841
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $6.19 billion
         28 Aug 2018           Prior week
 Long             58,662           68,091
 Short           135,590          140,429
 Net             -76,928          -72,338
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $5.729 billion
         28 Aug 2018           Prior week
 Long              5,884            6,302
 Short            50,628           53,520
 Net             -44,744          -47,218
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $1.917 billion
         28 Aug 2018           Prior week
 Long             34,111           32,271
 Short            58,900           59,292
 Net             -24,789          -27,021
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $3.275 billion 
         28 Aug 2018           Prior week
 Long             24,792           25,528
 Short            69,425           75,735
 Net             -44,633          -50,207
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-0.507 billion
         28 Aug 2018           Prior week
 Long            105,978          113,603
 Short            86,641           87,933
 Net              19,337           25,670
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $1.605 billion 
         28 Aug 2018           Prior week
 Long             16,445           15,665
 Short            40,372           40,808
 Net             -23,927          -25,143
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; 
Editing by Sandra Maler and David Gregorio)
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