Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered long positions by 131,228 lots in the week to March 5, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. That’s down 18 percent, or 28,588 contracts, from the previous week and is the lowest since Dec. 25.
Brent prices declined 1 percent to $111.61 a barrel in the week to March 5 after dropping in the second-half of February. Futures for April delivery were down 0.7 percent to $110.13 a barrel as of 12:34 p.m. London time on the ICE exchange.
Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 200,246, up from 198,946 the previous week.
Swaps dealers were net-long 101,970 lots, up 30 percent from a week earlier.
Money managers’ net-long bets on gasoil dropped for the second week by 24 percent to 80,036 contracts, the data show. Net-long positions in gasoil surged to the highest in more than two years on Feb. 19.
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