Hedge Funds Cut ICE Brent Crude Net-Longs From Two-Year High

Hedge funds and other money managers reduced bullish bets on Brent crude from their highest level in more than two years, the first cut in a month, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will increase, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 192,154 lots in the week ended Feb. 12, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. While that’s little changed from 192,195 a week earlier, the reduction of 41 lots is the first decline since Jan. 15.

Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 237,289, down 4.8 percent from with 249,350 a week earlier. It’s the first decrease in their net-short position in nine weeks.

Swaps dealers were net-long 71,054 contracts, down 7.8 percent from 77,029 a week earlier and the biggest weekly reduction since Dec. 18.

Brent rose 1.8 percent on the ICE exchange in the week to Feb. 12, settling that day at $118.66 a barrel. Brent traded at $117.72 as of 12:31 p.m. London time today.

Money managers’ net-long bets on gasoil rose for an eighth week to 106,358 contracts, the data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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