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

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Hedge funds and other money managers raised bullish bets on Brent crude to their highest level in two years for a third consecutive week, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will increase, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 192,195 lots, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. That’s up by 12,460 lots, or 6.9 percent, from 179,735 lots in the previous week, and brings net-longs to their highest since at least January 2011, the earliest point for which the data are available.

Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 249,350, compared with 235,348 a week earlier. It’s the eighth weekly increase in their net-short position. Swaps dealers were net-long 77,029 contracts, from 80,651 a week earlier.

Brent rose 1.9 percent on the ICE exchange in the week to Feb. 5, settling that day at $116.52 a barrel. Brent traded at $118.05 as of 12:33 p.m. London time today.

Money managers’ net-long bets on gasoil rose for a seventh week to 91,036 contracts, the data show.

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