Speculators raise U.S. dollar bets this week: CFTC, Reuters data

September 9, 2016 4:11 PM EDT

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By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

(Reuters) - Speculators increased favorable bets on the U.S. dollar for the first time in six weeks, according to Reuters calculations and data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday.

The value of the dollar's net long position rose to $9.10 billion in the week ended Sept. 6, from $5.29 billion the previous week, the data showed, with some investors unwinding extended positions on the greenback in the run-up to a Federal Reserve policy meeting this month.

Investors had been reducing long dollar positions since the beginning of August as U.S. data had come out softer than expected. That culminated in a U.S. non-farm payrolls report for August that was seen as less than stellar.

But since then, the dollar has regained its footing, supported by a slew of Fed speakers on Friday and over the past week suggesting a September rate hike was not exactly off the table despite what many view as a modest U.S. jobs number.

"The main takeaway from all of these comments is that despite slower job growth and weaker manufacturing and service sector activity, U.S. policymakers still believe rates should rise and this consistent message has not been lost on investors," said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX Strategy for BK Asset Management in New York.

So far this year, the dollar index <.DXY> has fallen more than 3 percent, down from 2015's gains of more than 9 percent.

Sterling net short positions, meanwhile, fell for a second straight week to 89,969, the data showed, after hitting record highs for six straight weeks. Investors have been net short the pound since November last year.

Sterling will also be a big focus next week with the Bank of England monetary policy announcement and a host of economic data such as UK inflation, employment, and retail sales.

Recent UK data has been solid, with manufacturing and service sector activity accelerating, suggesting that the impact of Britain's exit from the European Union has been limited so far.

Japanese yen net long contracts, on the other hand, fell to 54,489, the lowest since mid-August.

The Reuters calculation for the aggregate U.S. dollar position is derived from net positions of International Monetary Market speculators in the yen, euro, sterling, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars.

Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen)

$-6.679 billion

Sept. 6, 2016 Prior week


Long 83,968 91,570

Short 29,479 27,909

Net 54,489 63,661

EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)

$13.028 billion

Sept. 6, 2016 Prior week


Long 97,324 108,261

Short 189,954 190,186

Net -92,630 -81,925

POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)

$7.556 billion

Sept. 6, 2016 Prior week


Long 38,785 39,648

Short 128,754 132,133

Net -89,969 -92,485

SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)

$-0.187 billion

Sept. 6, 2016 Prior week


Long 22,819 24,557

Short 21,368 16,349

Net 1,451 8,208

CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)

$-1.628 billion

Sept. 6, 2016 Prior week


Long 44,136 46,808

Short 23,231 24,408

Net 20,905 22,400

AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)

$-2.994 billion

Sept. 6, 2016 Prior week


Long 66,211 70,432

Short 27,252 27,866

Net 38,959 42,566

MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)

$1.599 billion

Sept. 6, 2016 Prior week


Long 16,790 19,848

Short 75,189 53,082

Net -58,399 -33,234

NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars)

$-0.454 billion

Sept. 6, 2016 Prior week


Long 37,243 31,747

Short 31,115 29,854

Net 6,128 1,893

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, editing by G Crosse and Marguerita Choy)

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