Hedge funds and other money managers cut bullish bets on Brent crude for the sixth time in seven weeks, according to ICE Futures Europe.
Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 162,012 lots in the week ended Oct. 15, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitments of Traders report. That’s a reduction of 2,982 contracts, or 1.8 percent, from the previous week.
Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 322,007, a 2.8 percent decrease in their net-short from Oct. 8.
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.
Brent futures slipped 0.2 percent to $109.96 a barrel in the week to Oct. 15 and traded at $109.69 as of 12:26 p.m. local time today on the ICE exchange.
Swaps dealers reduced net-long positions in Brent by 1.9 percent to 178,359. net longs for ICE Brent.