April 6, 2018 / 9:03 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Speculators trim net U.S. dollar shorts for 2nd week: CFTC, Reuters

 (Adds comment, details, table, byline)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, April 6 (Reuters) - Speculators' net short U.S.
dollar bets fell for a second straight week, according to
calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission
data released on Friday.
    The value of the net short dollar position was $20.71
billion in the week to April 3, compared with $21.73 billion in
the previous week. The market has been short the dollar since
the middle of July last year.
    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 rouble, the U.S. dollar posted a net
short position valued at $24.966 billion, down slightly from
$25.868 billion the week before.
    Dollar positioning was consistent with the currency's
recovery over the last two weeks, posting gains of about 0.7
percent. For the year, though, the dollar remained down more
than 2 percent.
    Traders, however, believed this week's moves in the futures
market were a result of position adjustment after accumulating
extreme shorts on the dollar in the last few months.
    Overall, the dollar's outlook continued to be weak. 
    The trade dispute between the United States and China has
hurt the dollar's prospects, obscuring any benefit derived from
a Federal Reserve that's on a tightening path.
    "By the middle of next year, we think that the prospect of
slower growth in the U.S. economy will bring the Fed's
tightening cycle to an end while other major central banks are
closer to, or in the process of, tightening policy," Oliver
Jones, markets economist, at Capital Economics said.
    "This would probably see the gap in expected interest rates
between the US and other advanced economies move against the
    In other currency pairs, dollar/yen positioning switched to
a net long of 3,572 contracts this week 
    Meanwhile, speculators' net short position on bitcoin Cboe
futures rose to 1,786 contracts from 1,490 the
previous week, the data showed.
    Bitcoin continues to slide, down 2.4 percent at $6,606.70
 on Friday on the Bitstamp platform, after hitting a
record high just shy of $20,000 in December last year. It has
lost more than 50 percent of its value in 2018, with other
crypto currencies such as ether and ripple also hurt by
regulatory scrutiny around the world.
    Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $-0.419 billion
         April 3, 2018          Prior week
 Long             48,053            56,544
 Short            44,481            60,212
 Net               3,572            -3,668
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $-20.609 billion
         April 3, 2018          Prior week
 Long            221,327           234,656
 Short            86,946            93,592
 Net             134,381           141,064
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $-3.544 billion
         April 3, 2018         Prior week
 Long             86,643           90,239
 Short            46,305           56,063
 Net              40,338           34,176
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $1.292 billion
         April 3, 2018         Prior week
 Long             17,908           15,992
 Short            27,819           25,437
 Net              -9,911           -9,445
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $2.489 billion
         April 3, 2018         Prior week
 Long             29,558           33,518
 Short            61,430           60,568
 Net             -31,872          -27,050
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $0.006 billion 
         April 3, 2018         Prior week
 Long             46,152           51,072
 Short            46,227           42,998
 Net                 -75            8,074
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $-2.719 billion
         April 3, 2018         Prior week
 Long            136,812          130,264
 Short            37,732           40,477
 Net              99,080           89,787
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $-1.333 billion 
         April 3, 2018         Prior week
 Long             32,948           32,749
 Short            14,571           14,510
 Net              18,377           18,239
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
Editing by Susan Thomas)
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