Saxo Bank publishes two weekly Commitment of Traders reports (COT) covering leveraged fund positions in bonds and stock index futures. For IMM currency futures and the VIX, we use the broader measure called non-commercial.
This summary highlights futures positions and changes made by speculators such as hedge funds and CTA’s across forex, bonds and stocks up until last Tuesday, August 4. Appetite for risk during this period remained strong with dollar weakness and rising negative real yields feeding a rise in prices across global asset markets. The S&P 500 Index added 2.7% to reach a fresh cycle high while the dollar weakened further against a basket of major currencies. The yield on U.S. ten-year notes dropped 7 bp to 0.50%, thereby supporting a further fall in real yields to a fresh record low at -1.06%.
Continued dollar weakness, albeit at a slowing pace, helped boost the net-short against ten IMM currencies and the Dollar Index to a nine-year high at $29.5 billion. However, just like the previous five weeks the expanding dollar short position was almost solely driven by another rise in the euro net-long to a fresh record of 180,648 lots (€22.6 billion). The 15% increase occurred as the cross challenged and eventually later in the week retraced from €1.19.
Other noticeable changes were a rise in the Swiss franc net-long to 11,660 lots, the highest since March 2014 as well as an almost doubling of the Canadian dollar short to 23,195 lots.
The Commitments of Traders (COT) report is issued by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) every Friday at 15:30 EST with data from the week ending the previous Tuesday. The report breaks down the open interest across major futures markets from bonds, stock index, currencies and commodities. The ICE Futures Europe Exchange issues a similar report, also on Fridays, covering Brent crude oil and gas oil.
In commodities, the open interest is broken into the following categories: Producer/Merchant/Processor/User; Swap Dealers; Managed Money and other.
In financials the categories are Dealer/Intermediary; Asset Manager/Institutional; Managed Money and other.
Our focus is primarily on the behaviour of Managed Money traders such as commodity trading advisors (CTA), commodity pool operators (CPO), and unregistered funds.
They are likely to have tight stops and no underlying exposure that is being hedged. This makes them most reactive to changes in fundamental or technical price developments. It provides views about major trends but also helps to decipher when a reversal is looming.