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Speculators pare net long US dollar bets

New York

SPECULATORS cut their net long bets on the US dollar in the latest week to a nine-week low, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.

The value of the net long dollar position was US$13.28 billion in the week ended Oct 29. The net long dollar position had stood at US$15.31 billion the previous week.

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

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In a wider measure of dollar positioning that includes net contracts on the New Zealand dollar, Mexican peso, Brazilian real and Russian rouble, the greenback posted a net long position of US$12.56 billion in the week ended Oct 29, compared with US$15.10 billion the previous week.

The dollar has been in favour with investors for many months now thanks to its relatively high interest rate and a strong economy. The ongoing trade war with China has also helped support the greenback as investors reach for safe-haven assets.

More recently however, the US currency has retreated against a basket of major currencies amid an easing of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made progress on a variety of issues during a telephone call on Friday with China's Vice Premier Liu He about an interim trade agreement, USTR said in a statement on Friday. The dollar also weakened after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday cut interest rates for the third time this year.

For the week, the dollar index, which compares the dollar against six major currencies, was down about 0.6 per cent.

Speculators' short position in sterling shrank to 32,415 contracts, the smallest short position since late May, CFTC data showed. The pound finished October at US$1.294, up 5.3 per cent against the greenback, its biggest monthly rise in more than a decade. REUTERS