U.S. dollar longs slip, sterling shorts hit record high: CFTC, Reuters data

August 5, 2016 5:04 PM EDT

A man walks past a currency exchange bureau advertisement showing images of the U.S dollar and other currencies in Cairo, Egypt August 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

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By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

(Reuters) - Speculators pared back bullish U.S. dollar bets this week, as investors were dismayed by poor U.S. economic growth data for the second quarter that dampened expectations for an interest rate hike this year.

The value of the dollar's net long position fell to $12.81 billion in the week ended Aug. 2, from $13.66 billion the previous week, according to Reuters calculations and data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday.

Dollar net longs fell after increasing four straight weeks. The greenback had been on its best run of weekly gains in 1-1/2 years until last week when the weak GDP data was released.

Since that GDP report, the dollar had weakened 1.4 percent, before recovering on Friday after a much stronger-than-expected U.S. nonfarm payrolls number.

Analysts say it would be hard for the Federal Reserve to ignore two straight month of strong jobs numbers. That view should drive further gains in the dollar.

"It has now become rather clear that employment remains a very substantial bright spot in the U.S. economy and a strong support factor for a potential rate hike this year," said James Chen, currency strategist at Forex.com in New Jersey.

Sterling net short contracts, meanwhile, surged to 82,515, a record high, data showed.

Net short contracts on the British pound grew at a rapid pace after Britain voted on June 23 to leave the European Union. Speculators have been short sterling since November last year.

Since Britain's vote, the pound has fallen 13.31 percent.

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

$-5.167 billion

02 Aug 2016 Prior week


Long 76,575 74,074

Short 34,875 39,116

Net 41,700 34,958

EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros)

$14.607 billion

02 Aug 2016 Prior week


Long 104,516 109,193

Short 208,619 221,793

Net -104,103 -112,600

POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling)

$6.887 billion

02 Aug 2016 Prior week


Long 33,375 29,819

Short 115,890 110,391

Net -82,515 -80,572

SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs)

$0.222 billion

02 Aug 2016 Prior week


Long 21,216 26,807

Short 22,931 25,861

Net -1,715 946

CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars)

$-1.355 billion

02 Aug 2016 Prior week


Long 41,711 44,023

Short 23,953 20,843

Net 17,758 23,180

AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars)

$-2.386 billion

02 Aug 2016 Prior week


Long 58,269 57,083

Short 26,906 25,573

Net 31,363 31,510

MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos)

$1.377 billion

02 Aug 2016 Prior week


Long 23,915 24,114

Short 76,038 70,676

Net -52,123 -46,562

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

$-0.016 billion

02 Aug 2016 Prior week


Long 27,049 26,598

Short 26,832 26,383

Net 217 215

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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