Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 117,145 lots in the week ended Dec. 10, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitments of Traders report. The decrease of 14,271 contracts is the biggest since the week ended Nov. 5.
Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent futures outnumbered bullish wagers by 247,364 contracts. The 9.5 percent decline in net-short bets from the previous week brings their position to the smallest since the week ended March 26.
ICE publishes, usually each Monday, aggregate numbers for long and short positions for speculators 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 fell 3 percent to $109.38 a barrel in the week to Dec. 10 and were at $109.90 as of 11:59 a.m. local time.
Swap dealers reduced net-long positions by 5 percent to 178,465 contracts in the period.
Money managers’ bullish bets on European gasoil advanced for a fourth week, by 5 percent to 88,055 lots, bringing their net-long position to the highest since Feb. 26.
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