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Hedge Funds Raise ICE Brent Net-Longs by Most in Three Weeks

Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Hedge funds and other money managers raised bullish bets on Brent crude by the most in three weeks, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 106,138 lots in the week to Dec. 18, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. The increase of 10,691 contracts, or 11 percent, is the biggest since Nov. 27.

Bearish bets by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 116,353, down 6.9 percent from 108,831 lots last week. Swaps dealers were net-long 49,551 contracts from 56,536 a week earlier.

Brent crude advanced 0.8 percent on the ICE Futures Europe in the week to Dec. 18, settling that day at $108.84 a barrel. Brent traded for $108.25 as of 12:27 p.m. London time today.

Money managers’ net-long bets on gasoil fell 138 lots to 40,518 positions in the week to Dec. 18 from 40,656 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 at sev@bloomberg.net

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