February 24, 2017 / 9:22 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Specs lift long U.S. dollar bets this week -CFTC, Reuters data

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 (Adds details, comment, table, byline)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    Feb 24 (Reuters) - Speculators increased bullish bets on the
U.S. dollar for the first time in seven weeks, according to
Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday and
calculations by Reuters.
    The value of the dollar's net long position totaled $15.02
billion in the week ended Feb. 21, up from $14.99 billion the
previous week.
    Despite the rise in the dollar's net long positioning, the
greenback remains an underperformer so far this year, down about
1.1 percent, after gains of 3.6 percent in full-year 2016.
    Analysts said investors may have gotten ahead of themselves,
buying the dollar in the aftermath of the election as U.S.
president of Donald Trump, who promised tax reform and
infrastructure spending to boost the economy.
    Roughly two months after Trump's election, the market
remained in the dark on the new government's fiscal measures and
tax plan. 
    "We think the dollar should be trading higher, but there's
no question that investors need more convincing," said Kathy
Lien, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management in
New York.
    She also added that investors were just not convinced that a
U.S. interest rate hike will happen next month.
    CFTC data also showed net shorts of 50,162 Japanese yen
contracts, the lowest in more than two months.
    The yen has gained more than 4 percent so far this
year, capitalizing on the U.S. dollar's struggles.
    Trump is expected to give a major speech next week before a
joint session of Congress. Lien said any policy announcement
could dictate how dollar/yen moves next week. 
    "The currency pair came under heavy selling pressure in
previous days and looks vulnerable to a deeper correction," she
added.
    The Reuters calculation for the aggregate U.S. dollar
position is derived from net positions of International Monetary
Market speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc
and Canadian and Australian dollars.      
    
Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 
 $5.611 billion
         21 Feb 2017            Prior week
         week             
 Long             29,954            27,701
 Short            80,116            78,985
 Net             -50,162           -51,284
 
EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)
 $6.183 billion
         21 Feb 2017            Prior week
         week             
 Long            130,981           125,333
 Short           189,232           172,097
 Net             -58,251           -46,764
 
POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)
 $5.106 billion
         21 Feb 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long             38,253           39,039
 Short           104,605          104,567
 Net             -66,352          -65,528
 
SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)
 $1.428 billion
         21 Feb 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long              6,945            6,608
 Short            15,881           18,092
 Net              -8,936          -11,484
 
CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)
 $-1.479 billion
         21 Feb 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long             58,780           53,152
 Short            34,196           33,812
 Net              24,584           19,340
 
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)
 $-1.855 billion 
         21 Feb 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long             88,768           79,313
 Short            55,246           55,095
 Net              33,522           24,218
 
MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)
 $1.486 billion
         21 Feb 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long             35,125           30,271
 Short            91,606           90,484
 Net             -56,481          -60,213
 
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)
 $-0.206 billion 
         21 Feb 2017           Prior week
         week             
 Long             35,252           36,565
 Short            32,094           33,689
 Net               3,158            2,876
 
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by James
Dalgleish)
  

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