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Oil Has Short-Sellers On the Run, Helping Fuel a New Year's Rally

  • Bearish bets on Brent crude down by more than half in January
  • OPEC cuts, brighter economic outlook help drive out pessimists
oil rig offshore
Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg
Updated on

Oil’s rally is driving doubters out of the market, with hedge funds abandoning more than half of their short-selling bets in just four weeks.

With Brent crude enjoying its best month in almost three years, money managers slashed bearish bets on the global benchmark price by another 27 percent in the week ended Jan. 29, data showed Friday. The flight of the pessimists continued to be a dominant factor in oil’s rebound, with bets on a price increase rising by only 4.5 percent.