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

Hedge funds and other money managers raised bullish bets on Brent crude to the highest level in nine months, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 139,111 lots in the week ended Dec. 31, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. The increase of 13,714 contracts is the third consecutive weekly gain and brings net-longs to their highest since March 27.

Bearish bets by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 151,548, from 127,305 lots last week. Swaps dealers were net-long 52,771 contracts, up from 46,446 a week earlier.

Brent crude advanced 2.1 percent on the ICE Futures Europe in the week to Dec. 31, settling that day at $111.11 a barrel. Brent traded for $110.91 as of 12:22 p.m. London time today.

Money managers’ net-long bets on gasoil increased to 52,985 in the week to Dec. 31 from 50,223 in the previous period, the data showed.

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