10 March 2019, New York — Hedge funds and other speculators raised their bullish bets on U.S. crude in the latest week as prices firmed on hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC said on Friday.
The speculator group raised its combined futures and options position in New York and London by 21,416 contracts to 155,426 in the week ended March 5.
U.S. crude futures gained about 2 percent to trade at $56.56 during the period, bolstered by hopes that China and the United States would sign a trade deal, ending a trade war and improving the demand outlook. Prices were also supported by OPEC-led supply cuts, as well as U.S. sanctions against OPEC members Iran and Venezuela, curbing supply as U.S. production continued to increase.
Brent crude speculators cut their net long positions by 3,508 contracts to 287,828 in the week, according to data from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).
Natural gas speculators in four major Nymex and ICE markets raised their net long position by 33,864 contracts to 191,664 in the week to March 5.
*Jessica Resnick-Ault; editing: Jonathan Oatis – Reuters