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Funds Cut Brent Crude Net-Longs by Most Since October

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Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Hedge funds and other money managers reduced bullish bets on Brent crude by the most since October, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 95,447 lots in the week ended Dec. 11, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. The reduction of 16,142 contracts, or 15 percent, is the biggest since Oct. 23 and brings net-longs down to their lowest level since Nov. 13.

Bearish bets by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 108,831, compared with 118,957 lots last week. Swaps dealers were net-long 56,536 contracts from 43,146 a week earlier.

Brent crude futures lost 1.7 percent on the ICE Futures Europe in the week to Dec. 11, settling that day at $108.01 a barrel. Brent traded for $107.87 a barrel at 12:25 p.m. London time.

Money managers’ net-long bets on ICE gasoil fell to 40,656 positions in the week to Dec. 11 from 57,683 in the previous period, the data showed.

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 on sev@bloomberg.net

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