Hedge Funds Cut Brent Net-Longs for First Time in Five Weeks

Hedge funds and other money managers reduced bullish bets on Brent crude by 6,454 contracts, the first decline in five weeks, data from ICE Futures Europe show.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 143,582 lots in the week ended Jan. 15, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report.

Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 181,605, up 3.5 percent from 175,478 last week. It’s the biggest net-short position among this category of market participants since Aug. 21, the data show.

Brent declined 1.5 percent on the ICE exchange in the week to Jan. 15, settling that day at $110.30 a barrel. The crude traded for $111.56 as of 12:38 p.m. London time today.

Money managers’ net-long bets on gasoil increased 9.2 percent to 62,092 in the week to Jan. 15 from 56,871 in the previous period, the data show. That’s the most since Oct. 30.

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