WTI Crude Oil Speculators reduced net positions for 1st time in 4 weeks

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WTI Crude Oil Non-Commercial Positions:

Large speculators and traders cut back on their bullish net positions in the WTI crude oil futures markets last week for the first time in four weeks, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.

The non-commercial contracts of WTI crude futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 476,990 contracts in the data reported through February 7th. This was a weekly decline of -15,702 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 492,692 net contracts.

WTI speculative positions, despite the weekly decline, have been on a remarkable run to the upside since the middle of November. Bullish net positions have gone from +276,320 net bullish positions on November 22nd to a recent high point of +492,692 net bullish positions on January 31st.

WTI Crude Oil Commercial Positions:

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The commercial traders position, categorized by the CFTC as hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -504,483 contracts last week. This is a weekly change of 4,655 contracts from the total net of -509,138 contracts reported the previous week.

USO Crude Oil ETF:

Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the USO Crude Oil ETF, which tracks the price of WTI crude oil, closed at approximately $11.19 which slid by just $-0.13 from the previous close of $11.32, according to ETF market data.

*COT Report: The COT data, released weekly to the public each Friday, is updated through the previous Tuesday (data is 3 days old) and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) as well as the commercial traders (hedgers & traders for business purposes) were positioned in the futures markets. The CFTC categorizes trader positions according to commercial hedgers (traders who use futures contracts for hedging as part of the business), non-commercials (large traders who speculate to realize trading profits) and nonreportable traders (usually small traders/speculators). Find CFTC criteria here: (http://www.cftc.gov/MarketReports/CommitmentsofTraders/ExplanatoryNotes/index.htm).

Article by CountingPips.com