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Hedge Funds Cut ICE Brent Crude Net-Longs to Near 3-Month Low

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March 18 (Bloomberg) -- Hedge funds and other money managers cut bullish bets on Brent crude for the fifth week to the lowest in almost three months, according to data from the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered long positions by 119,432 lots in the week ended March 12, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. That’s down 11,796 contracts, or 9 percent, from 131,228 the previous week and is the lowest since Dec. 18.

Brent crude declined 1.8 percent to $109.65 a barrel in the week to March 12 after declining for three weeks from mid-February. Futures for May delivery fell 1.2 percent to $108.49 as of 12:09 p.m. London time on ICE.

Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 203,802, up from 200,246 the previous week.

Swaps dealers were net-long 110,243 lots, up 8 percent from a week earlier.

Money managers’ net-long bets on gasoil dropped for the third week to 70,483 contracts, the data show. That’s the lowest since Jan. 22.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Raj Rajendran at rrajendran4@bloomberg.net

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