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Hedge Funds Raise Brent Crude Net-Longs to Three-Month High

Hedge funds and other money managers raised bullish bets on Brent crude by 5,655 contracts to their highest level in three months in the week ended Aug. 14, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 96,614 lots, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. That’s the highest level since the week to May 15. Net longs were at 90,959 on Aug. 7, the data show.

Bearish bets by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 175,800 lots, compared with 175,046 last week. Swaps dealers were net-long 88,336 positions, from 89,249 a week earlier.

Brent crude futures advanced 1.8 percent in the week to Aug. 14, settling that day at $114.03 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. Brent traded at $114.54 at 12:18 p.m. today.

Money managers’ net-long bets on ICE gasoil futures and options rose jumped by 31 percent to 54,719 positions, compared with 41,715 contracts last week, according to the data.

In New York, net-long positions in crude oil held by money managers, including hedge funds, commodity pools and commodity trading advisers, retreated by 11,764, or 7.2 percent, to 152,222 futures and options combined in the seven days ended Aug. 14, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Commitments of Traders report on Aug. 17.

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