background image background image background image

COT: Gold speculators turn bullish ahead of FOMC; Oil long drops further

Commodities 4 minutes to read
Picture of Ole Hansen
Ole Hansen

Head of Commodity Strategy

Summary:  Hedge funds increased bullish commodity bets for a second week with precious metals and grains being the main contributors while crude oil and industrial metals were sold.

Saxo Bank publishes two weekly Commitment of Traders reports (COT) covering leveraged fund positions in commodities, bonds and stock index futures. For IMM currency futures and the VIX, we use the broader measure called non-commercial.

To download your copy of the Commitment of Traders: Commodities report for the week ending December 11, click here.

COT Commodities

In crude oil, the relentless selling extending into an 11th week, albeit at a reduced pace. The combined net-long in Brent (+3.1k lots) and WTI (-8.6k lots) dropped to 256k lots, a three-year low. This occurred despite the Opec+ agreement to cut production over the coming months by 1.2 million barrels/day. The combined net-long – as per the chart below – is now more than 20% below the previous two lows in August 2016 and June 2017 from where crude oil rallied strongly on both occasions.

Brent and WTI chart
The gold position flipped to a net-long for the first time in five months. This came after funds cut longs by 8k lots and short positions by 20k lots. In the two weeks to November 11 funds bought 62k lots, mostly above $1,230/oz. While funds have moved towards a more bullish stance ahead of 2019 any additional dollar related weakness as seen on Friday could pose a short-term challenge.

Silver, meanwhile, had its net-short reduced to just 9k lots, as speculators turned the least bearish since July. 
Gold and silver charts
Funds turned net-long in the grains sector after buying 71k lots, with the change being led by soybean oil (+13k) and corn (+45k). Speculators have not been net-long these three major crops in December since 2014. The cut-off time for this report occurred the day before soybeans temporarily spiked on news that China had resumed the purchase of US cargoes. 
Corn, soybeans, wheat

In soft commodities funds added fresh Arabica coffee shorts as the bean suffered a sixth straight weekly decline, its longest losing streak since July. Signs of ample supply from Brazil and a weaker BRL supporting an elevated contango, which short-sellers attempts to benefit from.

Sugar, coffee, cocoa, cotton


The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website. This content is not intended to and does not change or expand on the execution-only service. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Bank Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Bank Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Bank Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (
Full disclaimer (
Full disclaimer (

Saxo Bank A/S (Headquarters)
Philip Heymans Alle 15

Contact Saxo

Select region


Trade responsibly
All trading carries risk. Read more. To help you understand the risks involved we have put together a series of Key Information Documents (KIDs) highlighting the risks and rewards related to each product. Read more

This website can be accessed worldwide however the information on the website is related to Saxo Bank A/S and is not specific to any entity of Saxo Bank Group. All clients will directly engage with Saxo Bank A/S and all client agreements will be entered into with Saxo Bank A/S and thus governed by Danish Law.

Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc, registered in the US and other countries and regions. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.