VIX Speculators boosted bullish net positions for 4th week to record high

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VIX Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large volatility speculators continued to boost their bullish net positions in the VIX futures markets this week, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.

The non-commercial futures contracts of VIX futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 92,913 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday April 10th. This was a weekly increase of 13,811 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 79,102 net contracts.

Speculative positions have gained for four straight weeks and surpassed the most recent high bullish position level +85,818 net contract reached on February 6th.

In fact, this week’s net bullish position looks to be the highest on record going back to data starting in 2004. The VIX futures data through the 2008-2009 financial crisis saw much lower levels of trading with open interest ranging between 40,000 and 60,000 contracts per week over most of that time frame. Throughout 2017 and 2018, we have seen open interest levels reach above 700,000 contracts while the data has been routinely above the 400,000 contract level.


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VIX Commercial Positions:

The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -91,563 contracts on the week. This was a weekly decline of -10,982 contracts from the total net of -80,581 contracts reported the previous week.

VIX:

Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the VIX, which tracks the volatility of the S&P500, closed at approximately $20.47 which was a decrease of $-0.63 from the previous close of $21.1, according to unofficial market data.

*COT Report: The COT data, released weekly to the public each Friday, is updated through the most recent 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).

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