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Hedge Funds Raise ICE Brent Crude Net-Longs to Two-Year High

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Hedge funds and other money managers raised bullish bets on Brent crude to the most in more than two years, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 153,913 lots in the week ended Jan. 22, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. That’s up 10,331 contracts, or 7 percent, from the previous week and is the highest since at least January 2011, the earliest date for which the data are available.

Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 203,425, up 12 percent from 181,605 last week, and is the biggest net-short in this category since March 27, the data show.

Brent rose 1.9 percent on the ICE exchange in the week to Jan. 22, settling that day at $112.42 a barrel. The crude traded at $113.03 as of 12:11 p.m. London time today.

Money managers’ net-long bets on gasoil increased 7 percent to 66,644 contracts in the same period. That’s the most since Oct. 30.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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