Speculators Build Long Euro and Aussie Positions but Slash Canadian Dollar Longs

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There were three significant position adjustments by speculators in the currency futures during the CFTC reporting week ending March 21.  

In the euro, the bears ran for cover and the bulls ran with the wind at their back.  The bulls add 11.3k contracts to their gross long position, bringing it to 159.6k contacts.  Meanwhile, the bears covered 10k contracts to bring their gross short position to 179.3k contracts.  The net short position was to 9.7k contracts from 41.0k contracts, which is the smallest since mid-2014.   

Bulls and bears were active in the Australian dollar futures, but their activity largely canceled each other out.  The net position changed by less than 2k contracts.  The gross long position rose by 11.8k contracts to 85.4k, while the gross short position rose by 10.2k contracts to 40.4k.

The most dramatic change was in the Canadian dollar futures.  The bulls capitulated.  The gross long position was slashed by 44.3k contracts to 30.3k.  The bears were not as bold.  They added 1.5k contracts to the gross short position, lifting it to 54.7k contracts.  The net position swung back short (-24.4k contracts vs. +21.5k contracts) for the first time in two months.

Speculators were also active sterling, but just shy of our 10k contract threshold of significance.  In contrast to the Australian dollar where speculators added to both long and short positions, in sterling, both longs and shorts were trimmed (9.9k contracts and 9.1k contracts respectively).  The net position hardly changed, a little above 107k contracts.

Modest position adjustments in Mexican peso saw the net short position slim to 3.3k contracts, the smallest since November 2015.  As recently as the end of January, the net short speculative position stood at 73k contracts.  The decline has been due in nearly equal measure between new longs being established and old shorts being covered.

Speculators moved to the sidelines in the light sweet oil futures.  The bulls liquidated 28k contracts, leaving 659k contracts.  The bears covered 12.7k contracts.  They now have 240.5k.  These adjustments produced a 15.3k reduction in the net long position, bringing it to 418.5k contracts.

Short-covering continued to dominate speculative position adjustment in the 10-year Treasury note futures markets.  The chastened bears covered almost 100k contracts, reducing the gross short position to 707.6k contracts.  The bulls liquidated a little less than 4k contracts leaving 607.2k contracts.  The net short position was halved to 100.4k contracts.   It is the smallest since early December.

21-Mar        Commitment of Traders
Net  Prior  Gross Long Change Gross Short  Change
Euro 32.6 -41.0 159.6 11.3 179.3 -10.0
Yen -67.0 -71.3 35.0 -0.5 102.0 -4.8
Sterling -107.8 -107.1 32.6 -9.9 140.4 -9.1
Swiss Franc -12.0 -9.0 9.1 -3.9 21.1 -0.9
C$ -24.4 21.5 30.3 -44.3 54.7 1.5
A$ 45.0 43.3 85.4 11.8 40.4 10.2
NZ$ -12.6 -5.6 16.6 -2.9 29.2 4.1
Mexican Peso 3.3 -5.5 57.7 6.5 61.0 4.3
(CFTC, Bloomberg) Speculative positions in 000’s of contracts