Hedge Funds Cut ICE Brent Crude Net-Longs to 12-Week Low

Hedge funds and other money managers cut bullish bets on Brent crude to the lowest level in 12 weeks, according to ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 167,745 lots in the week ended Sept. 24, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitments of Traders report. The reduction of 19,388 contracts, or 10 percent, curbs net-longs to their lowest since July 2.

Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 333,131, a 7.6 percent reduction from a week earlier and the smallest net-short position since April 30.

ICE publishes, usually each Monday, aggregate numbers for long and short positions for speculators such as hedge funds and institutional investors, as well as commercial companies that buy or sell futures to protect against price moves. Analysts and investors follow changes in speculators’ positions because such transactions can reflect an expectation of a change in prices.

Brent futures slipped 0.4 percent in the week to Sept. 24 to $108.64 a barrel and traded at $107.73 as of 12:24 p.m. local time on the ICE exchange.

Swaps dealers curtailed net-long positions in Brent by 6.1 percent to 177,817, the lowest level since April 9.

Money managers’ net-long bets on European gasoil fell for a third week, shrinking 22 percent to 62,336 lots.

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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