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UPDATE 1-Speculators up net long U.S. dollar bets to 5-week high -CFTC, Reuters

Fri, 20th Sep 2019 21:32

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Speculators boosted their net long bets on the U.S. dollar in the latest week to a five-week high, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.

The value of the net long dollar position was $15.29 billion in the week ended Sept. 17. The net long dollar position had stood at $13.33 billion last week.

To be long a currency means traders believe it will rise in value, while being short points to a bearish bias. U.S. dollar positioning was derived from net contracts of International Monetary Market speculators in the Japanese 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 greenback posted a net long position of $15.40 billion in the week ended Sept. 17, compared with $12.58 billion the previous week.

On Friday, the U.S. dollar rose against a basket of currencies and it posted its first weekly increase in three, helped by hopes that the Federal Reserve would not lower rates aggressively.

Against a favorable economic backdrop, the Fed lowered key lending rates by a quarter point on Wednesday, but signaled a higher bar to further reductions in borrowing costs.

Interest rates futures implied traders saw a 63% chance of another rate cut by year-end, compared with 69% late on Thursday, CME Group's FedWatch program showed.

While interest rate cuts typically weaken the U.S. dollar, because investors often swap dollars for foreign currencies to take advantage of better interest rates in other countries, the recent Fed rate cuts have done little to hurt the greenback.

The strength of the U.S. economy relative to the rest of the world and low interest rates around the globe have led investors to favor the U.S. dollar.

Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) $-2.759 billion

         17 Sep 2019            Prior week
         week
 Long             50,842            56,579
 Short            26,980            23,988
 Net              23,862            32,591
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros) $9.488 billion
         17 Sep 2019            Prior week
         week
 Long            164,272           180,535
 Short           232,831           230,377
 Net             -68,559           -49,842
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling) $6.728 billion
         17 Sep 2019           Prior week
         week
 Long             21,332           37,903
 Short           107,456          130,136
 Net             -86,124          -92,233
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs) $0.574 billion
         17 Sep 2019           Prior week
         week
 Long             15,125           16,087
 Short            19,681           18,979
 Net              -4,556           -2,892
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars) $-1.497 billion
         17 Sep 2019           Prior week
         week
 Long             62,004           54,971
 Short            42,181           43,448
 Net              19,823           11,523
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars) $2.751 billion
         17 Sep 2019           Prior week
         week
 Long             34,566           36,994
 Short            74,648           90,008
 Net             -40,082          -53,014
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos) $-2.108 billion
         17 Sep 2019           Prior week
         week
 Long            135,507          126,807
 Short            53,881           31,170
 Net              81,626           95,637
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars) $2.291 billion
         17 Sep 2019           Prior week
         week
 Long             15,824           22,490
 Short            51,867           52,280
 Net             -36,043          -29,790
(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by David Gregorio and Tom Brown)

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