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Weekly Speculative Positions: Yen Speculators Continue to Press

Yen Speculators Continue to Press
Speculators were undeterred by the threat of BOJ intervention. In the CFTC reporting period ending April 12, speculators boosted their net and gross long yen positions to new record highs. The bulls added 2k contracts to their gross long position to give them 100.1k yen futures contracts. The bulls, who had tried picking a bottom over the past two reporting periods, gave up and reduced their gross short position by 4.1k contracts to 33.9k. The resulted in a 6k increase in the net long position, lifting it to 66.2k contracts.
Speculators reduced euro exposure. The bulls liquidated 8.8k contracts, reduced the net long position to 89.2k contracts.  This is the smallest since February.  The bears trimmed their gross short position by 10.2k contracts, leaving them with 141.3k.  This is the smallest position since last October.   These gross position adjustments trimmed the net short position (by nearly 1.5k contracts to 52.1k), for the fourth consecutive week. 
The bulls added 12.5k Australian dollar contracts to its gross long position, giving them 90.8k contracts.  This is the largest position in three years.  Among the currency futures we track, the gross long Aussie position is the second highest behind the yen, surpassing the euro.  The top pickers added 4.3k contracts to their gross short position, raising it to 55.6k contracts.  The net long position of 35.1k contracts is the largest in two years.   
The other significant (more than 10k contracts) gross position adjustment was in the Mexican peso.  The gross short position increased by 14.4k contracts to 87.1k.  The gross longs were trimmed by 300 contracts to 40.5k.  
There were a few other highlights.  The net short sterling position rose to 51.3k contracts (from 46.k), the largest since 2013.  However, both gross longs and gross shorts were reduced.  The net long Swiss franc futures position end up to 8.2k contracts (from 5.6k), which represents a new high in a year. Minor adjustment in the gross positions lifted the net long New Zealand dollar position to new highs for this year (4.3k contracts). 
In terms of overall pattern, speculators continued to cover short currency exposure.  Of the eight currency futures, we track there were two exceptions.  We have noted both already, the Australian dollar (+4.3 contracts) and the Mexican peso (+14.4k).  
Speculators dramatically reduced their net short 10-year Treasury position to 24.4k contracts from 117.3k contracts. This was a function of a 84.4k contract jump in the gross long position to 469.3k contracts.  The bears covered 8.5k short contracts leaving 493.7k contracts.  
Speculators reduced exposure to the oil futures market ahead of the Doha meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC meeting.  The bulls liquidated 11.5k gross long contracts.  They now have 530.3k long contracts.  The bears covered 10.5k short contracts leaving 241.1k. 
12-Apr      Commitment of Traders
Net  Prior  Gross Long Change Gross Short  Change
Euro -52.1 -53.5 89.2 -8.8 141.3 -10.2
Yen 66.2 60.1 100.1 2.0 33.9 -4.1
Sterling -51.3 -46.5 33.8 -5.7 85.2 -1.0
Swiss Franc 8.2 5.6 17.5 1.0 9.2 -1.7
C$ 2.4 0.1 29.0 -0.6 26.6 -2.9
A$ 35.1 26.8 90.8 12.5 55.6 4.3
NZ$ 4.3 2.9 21.5 1.3 17.2 -0.1
Mexican Peso -46.6 -31.9 40.5 -0.3 87.1 14.4
(CFTC, Bloomberg) Speculative positions in 000's of contracts
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Marc Chandler
He has been covering the global capital markets in one fashion or another for more than 30 years, working at economic consulting firms and global investment banks. After 14 years as the global head of currency strategy for Brown Brothers Harriman, Chandler joined Bannockburn Global Forex, as a managing partner and chief markets strategist as of October 1, 2018.
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