WTI Crude Oil Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:
Large energy speculators once again cut back on their bullish net positions in the WTI Crude Oil futures markets in early January, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.
The latest COT data is from early in January due to the government shutdown which halted the releases. The CFTC is releasing data on Tuesdays and Fridays going forward until the data is back up to date.
The non-commercial futures contracts of WTI Crude Oil futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 277,211 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday, January 8th. This was a weekly decline of -21,502 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of 298,713 net contracts.
The week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) decreasing by -4,256 contracts to a weekly total of 498,716 contracts in combination with the gross bearish position (shorts) which saw a gain by 17,246 contracts for the week to a total of 221,505 contracts.
The net speculator position had fallen for eleven straight weeks before a cool off on December 18th. The decreasing of net bullish bets started again on December 24th and continued through January 8th for three straight weeks of decline. The spec standing through January 8th fell to the lowest level since November of 2016.
WTI Crude Oil Commercial Positions:
The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -275,275 contracts on the week. This was a weekly advance of 34,256 contracts from the total net of -309,531 contracts reported the previous week.
WTI Crude Oil Futures:
Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the WTI Crude Oil Futures (Front Month) closed at approximately $49.78 which was an uptick of $4.37 from the previous close of $45.41, according to unofficial market data.
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