|03 April, 2020

U.S. dollar net shorts hit largest since May 2018 - CFTC, Reuters data

The value of the net short dollar position was $9.91 billion in the week ended March 31

Image used for illustrative purpose. A man holds his identification card and US dollar banknote at the exchange office of a local bank in Yangon April 2, 2012.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A man holds his identification card and US dollar banknote at the exchange office of a local bank in Yangon April 2, 2012.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

NEW YORK  - Speculators' net short U.S. dollar positioning in the latest week touched their largest level since May 2018, according to calculations by Reuters and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.

The value of the net short dollar position was $9.91 billion in the week ended March 31, from net shorts of $8.88 billion the previous week. Speculators were short the U.S. dollar for three straight weeks.

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 U.S. dollar posted a net short position of $8.69 billion, from net shorts of $7.86 billion the week before.

The dollar has been pressured in the last few weeks by a slew of U.S. Federal Reserve measures to flood the financial system with greenbacks to address a liquidity crunch caused in part by demand for the American currency.

Going into the end of March, portfolio managers around the world were also short the dollar amid massive underperformance of U.S assets during the month.

The dollar index was down nearly 4% at the end of last week, before posting a weekly gain of 2.3% this week.

Investors have remained attached to the dollar by virtue of its safe-haven status and will remain so in the foreseeable future.

"Since month-end, we have had new risk-off headlines to digest," said Erik Bregar, head of FX strategy at Exchange Bank of Canada in Toronto, which is supportive of the U.S. dollar.

Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) $-2.125 billion

31 Mar 2020 Prior week

week Long 48,444 56,528 Short 30,162 32,665 Net 18,282 23,863

EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros) $-10.236 billion

31 Mar 2020 Prior week

week Long 155,047 152,360 Short 80,800 91,070 Net 74,247 61,290

POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling) $-0.388 billion

31 Mar 2020 Prior week

week Long 37,149 46,534 Short 32,156 35,650 Net 4,993 10,884

SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs) $-0.644 billion

31 Mar 2020 Prior week

week Long 10,389 10,294 Short 5,442 5,403 Net 4,947 4,891

CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars) $1.56 billion

31 Mar 2020 Prior week

week Long 21,517 21,323 Short 43,446 50,568 Net -21,929 -29,245

AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars) $1.943 billion

31 Mar 2020 Prior week

week Long 27,315 31,024 Short 58,979 56,231 Net -31,664 -25,207

MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos) $-0.162 billion

31 Mar 2020 Prior week

week Long 28,435 40,783 Short 20,770 18,804 Net 7,665 21,979

NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars) $0.959 billion

31 Mar 2020 Prior week

week Long 8,040 6,993 Short 24,146 23,009 Net -16,106 -16,016

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis) ((gertrude.chavez@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6322; Reuters Messaging: rm://gertrude.chavez.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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