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Hedge Funds Extend Brent Crude Net-Longs to Two-Year High

Hedge funds and other money managers raised bullish bets on Brent crude to their highest level in two years for a second week, data from ICE Futures Europe show.

Speculative bets that prices will increase, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 179,735 lots, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. That’s the highest since at least January 2011, the earliest date for which the data are available. The gain of 25,822 contracts, or 17 percent, is also the biggest since the records began.

Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 235,348, down 16 percent from 203,425 last week, the biggest net-short in this category since March 29, 2011, the data show.

Brent rose 1.7 percent on the ICE exchange in the week to Jan. 29, settling that day at $114.36 a barrel. Brent traded at $115.98 as of 12:07 p.m. London time today.

Money managers’ net-long bets on gasoil increased 16 percent to 77,096 contracts in the same period. That’s the most since Oct. 16.

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