Hedge Funds Raise Brent Net-Longs First Time in Six Weeks

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Hedge funds and other money managers raised bullish bets on Brent crude for the first time in six weeks, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 164,994 lots in the week ended Oct. 8, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitments of Traders report. That’s up 2.3 percent from last week, when net-longs were at their lowest level since July 2.

Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 331,327, a 4.1 percent increase from Oct. 1.

ICE publishes, usually each Monday, aggregate numbers for long and short positions for speculators and institutional investors, as well as commercial companies that buy or sell futures to protect against price moves. Analysts and investors follow changes in speculators’ positions because such transactions can reflect an expectation of a change in prices. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Oct. 1 that it will not publish data including its weekly Commitment of Traders report during the government shutdown.

Brent futures rose 2.1 percent to $110.16 a barrel in the week to Oct. 8 and traded at $110.38 as of 12:51 p.m. local time on the ICE exchange.

Swaps dealers raised net-long positions in Brent by 5.2 percent to 181,856.

Money managers’ net-long bets on European gasoil grew for the first time in five weeks, rising 19 percent to 72,110 lots.

See ICCBBMMN <Index> GP <GO> for a chart of managed money net longs for ICE Brent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jake Rudnitsky in Moscow at jrudnitsky@bloomberg.net

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