December 22, 2017 / 10:12 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators trim net short dollar bets in latest week -CFTC, Reuters

 (Adds details on dollar, euro, Aussie dollar contracts;
comment, table)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Speculators pared back net
short U.S. dollar bets, pushing them to their lowest level since
mid-November, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity
Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.
    The value of the net short dollar positions, derived from
net positions of International Monetary Market speculators in
the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and
Australian dollars, was $2.18 billion in the week ended Dec. 19.
    That was lower than the previous week's net short position
of $7.81 billion. Dollar shorts fell after rising four straight
weeks. Speculators have been short the dollar for 23 straight
weeks.
    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
short position valued at $3.287 billion this week, from $9.803
billion previously.
    The dollar index was on track to post its worst yearly
performance in 14 years.
    The dollar has mostly struggled for the majority of the
year, after rallying following the U.S. presidential elections.
The greenback has declined in each of the first three quarters. 
       
    The reduction in dollar shorts this week was driven by the
fall in euro longs and the sudden deterioration of sentiment on
the Australian dollar. 
    Euro net longs fell 113,889 to 86,224 contracts.
    Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank, said
the slide in net euro longs was mainly fueled by an increase in
gross shorts this week, essentially "investors essentially
adding more risk."
    Osborne said this was slightly surprising for the time of
the year.
    Aussie dollar net short contracts totaled 12,660, compared
with net longs the previous week of 40,720 contracts. This was
the largest positioning shift against the Australian dollar
since 2007.
    "Aussie positioning is a little perplexing; the modest net
long in the market that has persisted since mid-year has turned
into a large and relatively significant net short," said
Osborne.
    "There is little obvious fundamental news to have driven
such a turn in sentiment over the past week, in our opinion."
    
Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $12.665 billion
         Dec. 19, 2017          Prior week
         week             
 Long             36,874            31,747
 Short           151,247           145,870
 Net            -114,373          -114,123
 
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $-12.759 billion
         Dec. 19, 2017          Prior week
         week             
 Long            198,398           206,027
 Short           112,174            92,138
 Net              86,224           113,889
 
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $-1.705 billion
         Dec. 19, 2017         Prior week
         week             
 Long             77,109           82,611
 Short            56,721           71,223
 Net              20,388           11,388
 
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $2.208 billion
         Dec. 19, 2017         Prior week
         week             
 Long             29,875           19,349
 Short            47,270           48,114
 Net             -17,395          -28,765
 
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $-3.565 billion
         Dec. 19, 2017         Prior week
         week             
 Long             68,451           62,198
 Short            22,550           20,238
 Net              45,901           41,960
 
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $0.97 billion 
         Dec. 19, 2017         Prior week
         week             
 Long             38,012           93,384
 Short            50,672           52,664
 Net             -12,660           40,720
 
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-1.403 billion
         Dec. 19, 2017         Prior week
         week             
 Long            102,273          112,383
 Short            48,379           26,207
 Net              53,894           86,176
 
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $1.159 billion 
         Dec. 19, 2017         Prior week
         week             
 Long             19,456           23,811
 Short            36,075           37,239
 Net             -16,619          -13,428
 
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Richard
Chang)
  
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