Hedge Funds Cut Brent Crude Bullish Bets to Four-Month Low

Hedge funds and other money managers cut bullish bets on Brent crude to the lowest level in four months, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered long positions by 116,880 lots in the week ended April 9, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. The cut of 25,212 contracts, or 18 percent, is the first in four weeks and reduces net-longs to the lowest since Dec. 18.

Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 250,129 contracts, down by 16,605, or 6.2 percent, for the first decrease in six weeks.

Brent crude tumbled 4 percent to $106.23 a barrel in the week to April 9 on the ICE exchange, and traded for $101.25 a barrel at 12:22 p.m. London time today.

Swaps dealers were net-long 168,874 lots, up 14,447 or 9.4 percent from a week earlier, in an eighth straight increase to their highest level since the data began.

Money managers’ net-long bets on gasoil futures decreased by 12,572 contracts, or 27.6 percent, to 32,944, the lowest level since July, the data show.

ICE publishes, usually each Monday, aggregate numbers for long and short positions for speculators such as hedge funds and institutional investors, as well as commercial companies that buy or sell futures to protect against price moves. Analysts and net longs for ICE Brent.

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