NEW YORK - U.S. dollar net long positions were flat compared with the previous week's levels, according to calculations by Reuters and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.

The value of the net long dollar position was $21.76 billion in the week ended Feb. 5, compared with $21.44 billion the previous week. The speculative market has been long the dollar since mid-June last year.

The CFTC, which had stopped releasing the data because of the 35-day partial U.S. government shutdown, resumed on Feb. 1.

Dollar gains have eroded ever since the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at the late January monetary policy meeting and said it would be patient in lifting borrowing costs further this year as it pointed to rising uncertainty about the U.S. economic outlook.

Interest rate futures have not priced in a rate hike in 2019 and factored in a small chance of a rate cut.

As a result, the dollar struggled the last few weeks. This week, in particular, the dollar fell 0.4 percent.

"It's clear that for the Fed, everything is data dependent and because they don't have a strong conviction in one direction or another, investors continued to price in a greater chance of easing than tightening before the end of the year," said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy, at BK Asset Management in New York.

In a broader measure of dollar positioning that includes net contracts on the New Zealand dollar, Mexican peso, Brazilian real, and Russian ruble, the U.S. dollar posted a net long position of $19.093 in the week ended Feb. 5, compared with $21.758 billion.

Euro positioning, meanwhile, showed net short contracts of 51,964 in the week of Feb. 5, the largest since December.

Europe's single currency has struggled this month as worries grow about the state of the euro zone economy. So far in February, the euro was down nearly 1 percent.

Net short contracts on the Japanese yen, were at 31,410, the lowest since mid-June last year.

In the cryptocurrency market, speculators' net short position on bitcoin Cboe futures contracted to 1,049 contracts in the week ended Feb 5, from 1,963 short contracts the previous week.

Bitcoin has started to slowly recover from a prolonged slump, which began early last year.

The original cryptocurrency on Friday was last up nearly 1 percent at $3,938.94 Bitstamp platform. It has dropped roughly 80 percent since soaring to an all-time high of nearly $20,000 in December 2017.

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by David Gregorio and Grant McCool)

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