Hedge Funds Raise ICE Brent Net-Longs to Most in Six Weeks

Hedge funds and other money managers increased net bullish bets on Brent crude to the most 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 109,223 lots in the week ended Feb. 11, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitments of Traders report. The increase of 24,947 contracts, or 30 percent, boosts net-long positions to the highest since Dec. 31, the data show.

Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of the North Sea crude outnumbered bullish wagers by 246,363 contracts, an increase of 22,535, or 10 percent, in their net-shorts.

Brent futures rose 2.7 percent on the ICE exchange to $108.68 a barrel in the week to Feb. 11 and were at $109.02 as of 12:24 p.m. London time.

Swap dealers cut net-long positions in Brent for a third week, trimming them by 1.2 percent to 197,521 contracts.

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.

Money managers’ bullish bets on European gasoil rose by net longs for ICE Brent.

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