Speculators Flip to Long Side of the USD - COT Report Data - Technical Analysis


CashBackForex Representative
CFTC Commitments of Traders (COT) Report, published Friday 22 February 2013*. Speculators' aggregate net position, in the eight futures contracts we cover, flipped to the long side of the USD in the latest period. In the prior report, the specs net position was 31,704 contracts short. The position in this week’s report shows him long 30,552 contracts.

* A report issued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission detailing the commitments that traders have made for various futures contracts in the futures market. This weekly report is typically issued every Friday at 03:30pm Eastern Standard Time reflecting the commitments of the previous week up to the Tuesday of the week the report was released on. Futures traders can gauge volumes of a future with the COT as futures contracts are not traded on any exchanges and volume trading information is not immediately available.

There was net buying of the USD in all contracts except the NZ$. We do not wish to imply that specs are long the USD against all other contracts. Rather we are saying that any USD short positions have been reduced. There was an increase in USD longs in the DI, the pound and the yen.

Speculators flipping positions is an uncommon event. For the last ten weeks the market had been short the USD. In the last seventeen months there have been only four position changes.

The British pound was hit hard by speculative selling in the period, and it looks like there has been further selling after the COT report’s Tuesday cut-off.

It is interesting to note, despite persistent selling in the Australian Dollar, that the currency stopped the slide. The open interest has gone down as speculators’ longs have peeled out of 50K long contracts. Last week, the spec longs dumped 11.2K contracts.

  • US Dollar Index: There was a good move to the long side of the DI by both size specs. Their long increased from 4K last week to 15.2K. Though not a big player, as a percentage of the market, the small spec is about a 2.5 ratio long.

  • Euro (EUR/USD): Both size specs are long the euro in this report, and the market action after the cut-off date did not help them. Their total spec long was reduced modestly from 30.9K to 26.1K. Spreading, which is mostly options, represents 11.8% of the 283K total OI.

  • British Pound Sterling (GBP/USD): There was over a 10% increase in the OI, most of which was specs adding to their short positions. The spec short in the pound grew to 40.8K ahead of a severe sell-off ahead of a credit rating reduction for Britain. Was this announcement leaked? Small specs are now a 2-to-1 short.

  • Japanese Yen (JPY/USD): The total open interest in the yen grew to almost 282K, almost as large as the OI in the euro. Large specs are a 2 ratio short and the small specs are a 3-to-1 short. The total spec short is 107.5K. The option trade in the yen is large, 13.6% of the market. Most specs have been on the winning side in the yen melt down.

  • Swiss Franc (CHF/USD): There has been a flipped position in the SF, as the large spec has flipped to the short side of the market. With this switch, the big spec is opposed to the small spec by a wide margin as he is a 2-to-1 long.

  • Canadian Dollar (CAD/USD): The open interest increased by over 10%. A large portion of this was specs both increasing longs, and, by a greater amount, increasing shorts. The large specs' short position has been reduced to a 2 ratio long. The total spec long in the C$ has been reduced to 23.2K as that market has sold off. Only 4 weeks prior the C$ long was almost 88K, so the selling has been persistent.

  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD/USD): This is the one commodity currency where the specs are still firmly committed to the long side. The total long is up to almost 28K with the large spec an 8-to-1 long and the small spec a 2.5 to 1 long.

  • Australian Dollar (AUD/USD): Four weeks ago specs were long almost 119K, and now they are down to 46.2K. Considering the market has only sold off from around 1.0560 to 1.0240, the market acts well in spite of the selling. There has also been about a 50K reduction in the OI in the last four weeks. Despite all the liquidation, the large spec remains a 2-to-1 long.

The COT Report reflects a condensed version of currency traders collective market votes as derived from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly data output. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained in this discussion post are provided as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice from CashBackForex and/or CashBackForexUSA