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Speculators' net long dollar bets at highest since December 2016

New York

SPECULATORS' net long bets on the US dollar rose in the latest week to the largest position since December 2016, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.

The value of the net long dollar position was US$29.53 billion in the week ended Nov 27, up from US$28.49 billion the previous week. Speculators were net long on dollars for the 24th straight week, after being short for twice as long.

To be long on a currency means traders believe it will rise in value, while being short points to a bearish bias.

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US dollar positioning was derived from net contracts of International Monetary Market speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc, and Canadian and Australian dollars.

In a wider measure of dollar positioning that includes net contracts on the New Zealand dollar, Mexican peso, Brazilian real and Russian rouble, the US dollar posted a net long position valued at US$30.11 billion, compared with a net long position valued at US$28.98 billion a week earlier.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.5 per cent.

For the week, the index was up 0.3 per cent, its second straight week of gains, and is close to the highest it has been since June 2017.

The week's gains came despite a sharp slide on Wednesday after Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said US interest rates were just below neutral, a remark many investors took as a tip that the rate hike cycle was nearing its end. REUTERS