NEW YORK – Speculators’ net long positioning on the U.S. dollar rose in the latest week to their highest since late November, according to calculations by Reuters and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.
The value of the net long dollar position edged up to $19.82 billion for the week ended May 10, from $19.38 the previous week, CFTC data showed.
Bitcoin futures, on the other hand, posted their largest net long position since the contract was launched in 2018.
For the week of May 10, net longs in bitcoin rose to 703 contracts, compared with net longs of 388 in the previous week, CFTC data showed.
The dollar has posted sharp gains so far this year, rising 9.3%, on track for its best yearly performance since 2014.
“Investors continue to add to their overall net long U.S. dollar exposure, with the aggregate U.S. dollar long reflected in exposures to the major currencies we monitor here rising….over the past week to…close to where U.S. dollar bullish sentiment resided in late 2021/early 2022,” wrote Scotiabank in a report after the release of the CFTC data.
The U.S. currency benefited from safe-haven flows with the war in Ukraine as well as the Federal Reserve’s aggressive action to tighten monetary policy to curb soaring inflation.
Data also showed a net long euro position of 16,529, in the latest week, up from net shorts of 6,378. Scotia said this was the biggest one-week positioning swing in favor of the euro since August of last year. “Rather than piling on the weak euro, speculators are bottom fishing,” the Canadian bank said.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin futures’ net longs increased as its spot price tumbled in an overall crypto bear market. Some analysts said this could suggest that short-term investors could be hedging negative bets on bitcoin with long futures contracts.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, last rose 3.1% to $29,790, rebounding from a December 2020-low of $25,400 which it hit on Thursday.
Although it hit a high of just under $31,000 on Friday, bitcoin remains far below week-earlier levels of around $40,000 and unless there is a huge weekend rally it is on track for a record seventh consecutive weekly loss.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and David Gregorio)