January 29, 2016 / 9:57 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Hedge Funds' boost bullish bets in U.S. crude oil -CFTC

(Adds details on data, context, quote)
    Jan 29 (Reuters) - Hedge funds raised their bullish bets on
U.S. crude oil, data showed on Friday, amid expectations that
oil prices finally may have bottomed, after a global supply glut
has sent prices plunging to 12-year lows.
    Money managers, including hedge funds and other big
speculators, raised their combined futures and options position
in New York and London by 15,717 contracts to 68,053 in the week
to Jan. 26, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
    The data represented the second consecutive week in which
money managers had extended their position in the market.
    "It looked as if up to last Tuesday, you had a big influx of
money-manager longs - that would explain why up until Tuesday
last week, the market was firm," said Gene McGillian, Senior
Analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford Connecticut.
    "There were some bottom-pickers that showed up."
    Gross managed long positions rose to its highest level since
June 2015, in a sign that the market's overly
bearish sentiment may be coming to an end. 
    Oil prices have indeed rebounded, rising more than 25
percent from the 12-year lows touched last week after the
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries renewed calls
for rival producers to cut supply alongside its members.
    Analysts have said oil prices could rally as high as $45 by
year-end as non-OPEC supply reduces and global demand improves.
    U.S. oil production fell in November for the second straight
month, data from the Energy Information Administration showed
and energy firms cut oil rigs for the sixth straight oil
services company Baker Hughes Inc said.

 (Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar)
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