The below summary highlights futures positions and changes made by hedge funds across commodities, forex, bonds and stock indices up until last Tuesday, February 23. A week that saw emerging unease about the continued rise in bond yields that culminated last Thursday, two days after data for this report was compiled. Before then, the S&P 500 dropped 1.3% while the technology heavy Nasdaq slumped by 4.2%. The commodity sector managed another rise to a fresh 34-month high while the dollar traded softer before an end of week spike on emerging risk aversity.
Ahead of the bond market turmoil last week, hedge funds had turned a bit more cautious on commodities. Despite seeing the Bloomberg Commodity index climb to a fresh 34-month high, the report shows that leveraged funds cut exposure to energy and metals. Overall however, the combined net long across 24 major commodity futures was unchanged at a record 2.7 million lots, representing a nominal value of $144.4 billion. This due to continued demand across the agriculture sector where the combined net long reached a fresh record at 1.3 million lots. The buying was led by sugar, coffee and soybeans on weather worries in Brazil.
Most noticeable change considering the continued rally was in HG copper where speculators, despite seeing the metal rally 9%, cut their exposure by 19% to a 20-week low.