15 May 2017, London — Money managers delivered a fourth weekly consecutive cut to their holdings of Brent crude oil futures and options and raised their bearish bets on the market to the highest on record.
Data from the InterContinental Exchange on Monday showed speculators cut their net long position in Brent crude futures and options by 41,879 contracts to 280,678 lots, equal to some 281 million barrels of oil, in the week to May 9.
The drop in the net long was driven mainly by a sharp rise in short positions, or bets against a rally, which reached 157,894 lots, the highest since ICE began producing positioning data in early 2011.
The price of crude1 fell by nearly 7 percent to below $50 a barrel in that time, under pressure from ebbing confidence among investors that OPEC and its partners would be able to deliver enough of a cut to their crude production to really drain a global glut.
Since then, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, together with rivals such as Russia, has signaled it would be willing to extend the joint 1.8 million b/d in cuts that were announced in late November.
Investors in ICE gasoil futures and options cut their bullish holdings by 34,280 contracts to 26,936 lots, or around 27 million tons, in the week to May 9.
*Amanda Cooper; editing: Jason Neely – Reuters