COT: Bullish commodity bets rotating back to energy and metals COT: Bullish commodity bets rotating back to energy and metals COT: Bullish commodity bets rotating back to energy and metals

COT: Bullish commodity bets rotating back to energy and metals

Ole Hansen

Head of Commodity Strategy

Summary:  This summary highlights positions and changes made by speculators such as hedge funds and CTA's across commodities, forex, bonds and stock index futures and options up until last Tuesday, December 1. A week where continued risk-on mood powered global stocks higher driven by the forceful combination of a vaccine-led boost to global growth next year and the prospect for additional U.S. stimulus to mitigate an ongoing surge in Covid-19 cases.

Saxo Bank publishes 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.

The below summary highlights futures positions and changes made by hedge funds across commodities, forex, bonds and stock index futures up until last Tuesday, December 1, a week that was shortened by the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. The risk-on mood nevertheless powered global stocks higher with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both closing at record highs. Driven by the forceful combination of a vaccine-led boost to global growth next year and the prospect for additional U.S. stimulus to mitigate an ongoing surge in Covid-19 cases. Ten-year bond yields rose 5 basis on raised inflation expectations while the dollar dropped to a 2-1/2-year low.


The Bloomberg Commodity Index traded lower with profit taking in energy, grains and softs being partly off-set by a broad metals rally. The net result of these developments was a net increase in the speculative long across 24 major futures contracts by 1% to 2.3 million lots, the highest since February 2017.

For a second week buying of energy and metals, both precious and industrials, more than offset continued profit taking across the agriculture sector. The top three buys were all found in the energy sector led by WTI crude oil and natural gas while corn, wheat and sugar saw the biggest reductions.

Energy: Despite pre-OPEC+ meeting jitters and slightly lower oil prices, the combine net long in Brent and WTI oil rose by 6.5% to a five-month high at 577k lots, primarily on short-covering. The natural gas long rose by 5%, again on short covering, just before the price slumped by 10% on doubts about winter demand.

Metals: Gold and silver buyers returned following the Thanksgiving holiday slump and subsequent bounce back. The small 3% increase in both was however dwarfed by platinum where a 5% price rally helped trigger a 35% increase in the net long to a fifteen week high at 14,388 lots. Copper’s renewed surge to a 7-1/2-year high drove a relative small response from speculators who lifted their net long by 5,729 lots or 7% on a combination of fresh longs and short covering.

Agriculture: Long liquidation in the grains sector extended to a fifth week with the total reduction of 51,079 lots being the biggest since May 26. The CBOT wheat position swung back to a net short after seeing the price slump by 6.5% while the corn net-long was further reduced after hitting an eight year high last month. The soft sector was mixed with the sugar long being reduced by 8% to an eight-week low. The recent shenanigans in cocoa which saw the price temporarily spike by 400 dollars helped attract additional buying, most of which is likely to have been sold back out in the days that followed last Tuesday’s cutoff. 


Broad dollar weakness in the U.S. holiday shortened week to December 1 helped drive a 5% increase in the combined dollar short against ten IMM currency futures and the Dollar Index to $26.9 billion, a six week high. The change was primarily driven by a 54% reduction in the Sterling short to 7,899 lots and an 18% increase in the JPY long to a four year high at 47,503 lots.

Somewhat off-setting these developments were a 26% increase in the CAD short to 21,243 lots and a doubling of the AUD short to 10,800 lots.  The EUR was bought for a second week and despite reaching a 2-1/2-year high against the Greenback, the net long at 139,894 was still some 34% below the record from August at 211,752 lots (€26.5 billion)

What is the Commitments of Traders report?

The COT reports are issued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the ICE Exchange Europe for Brent crude oil and gas oil. They are released every Friday after the U.S. close with data from the week ending the previous Tuesday. They break down the open interest in futures markets into different groups of users depending on the asset class.

Commodities: Producer/Merchant/Processor/User, Swap dealers, Managed Money and other
Financials: Dealer/Intermediary; Asset Manager/Institutional; Leveraged Funds and other
Forex: A broad breakdown between commercial and non-commercial (speculators)

The reasons why we focus primarily on the behavior of the highlighted groups are:

  • They are likely to have tight stops and no underlying exposure that is being hedged
  • This makes them most reactive to changes in fundamental or technical price developments
  • It provides views about major trends but also helps to decipher when a reversal is looming


Quarterly Outlook 2024 Q3

Sandcastle economics

01 / 05

  • Macro: Sandcastle economics

    Invest wisely in Q3 2024: Discover SaxoStrats' insights on navigating a stable yet fragile global economy.

    Read article
  • Bonds: What to do until inflation stabilises

    Discover strategies for managing bonds as US and European yields remain rangebound due to uncertain inflation and evolving monetary policies.

    Read article
  • Equities: Are we blowing bubbles again

    Explore key trends and opportunities in European equities and electrification theme as market dynamics echo 2021's rally.

    Read article
  • FX: Risk-on currencies to surge against havens

    Explore the outlook for USD, AUD, NZD, and EM carry trades as risk-on currencies are set to outperform in Q3 2024.

    Read article
  • Commodities: Energy and grains in focus as metals pause

    Energy and grains to shine as metals pause. Discover key trends and market drivers for commodities in Q3 2024.

    Read article

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited prepares and distributes information/research produced within the Saxo Bank Group for informational purposes only. In addition to the disclaimer below, if any general advice is provided, such advice does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of trading any financial instrument as trading can result in losses that exceed your initial investment. Please refer to our Analysis Disclaimer, and our Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement. All legal documentation and disclaimers can be found at

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service. Access and use of Saxo News & Research and any Saxo Bank Group website are subject to (i) the Terms of Use; (ii) the full Disclaimer; and (iii) the Risk Warning in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group.

Saxo News & Research is provided for informational purposes, 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. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. No Saxo Bank Group entity shall be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information on Saxo News & Research.

To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, such 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.

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments.Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo Capital Markets or its affiliates.

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

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited
Suite 1, Level 14, 9 Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000

Contact Saxo

Select region


The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited ABN 32 110 128 286 AFSL 280372 (‘Saxo’ or ‘Saxo Capital Markets’) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms, Financial Services Guide, Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Saxo Capital Markets does not provide ‘personal’ financial product advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. The Target Market Determination should assist you in determining whether any of the products or services we offer are likely to be consistent with your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc.

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States and Japan.

Please click here to view our full disclaimer.