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Hedge Funds Reduce Brent Crude Net-Longs to Three-Month Low

Hedge funds and other money managers reduced bullish bets on Brent crude in the week ended Oct. 30 to the lowest level in almost three months, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 91,462 lots, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. That’s down by 2,545 lots, or 2.7 percent, from 94,007 last week and is the lowest since Aug. 7.

Bearish bets by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 90,036, compared with 76,788 lots last week. Swaps dealers were net-long 33,568 contracts, from 22,527 a week earlier.

Brent crude on the ICE Futures Europe exchange rose 0.8 percent in the week to Oct. 30, settling at $109.08 a barrel that day. Brent traded at $105.68 at 12:10 p.m. London time.

Money managers’ net-long bets on ICE gasoil futures and options fell to 73,197 positions from 75,740 last week, the data showed.

In the U.S., hedge funds cut bullish oil bets to the lowest level in almost five months as Hurricane Sandy forced the shutdown of U.S. East Coast refineries.

Money managers reduced wagers on rising crude prices for the fourth time in five weeks, trimming net-long positions by 11 percent in the seven days ended Oct. 30, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Commitments of Traders report on Nov. 2 showed. It was the least since the week ended June 19.

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