COT: Trade hopes cut demand for gold; Oil bought again. COT: Trade hopes cut demand for gold; Oil bought again. COT: Trade hopes cut demand for gold; Oil bought again.

COT: Trade hopes cut demand for gold; Oil bought again.

Ole Hansen

Head of Commodity Strategy

Summary:  COT on commodities in week to November 5 showed how trade hopes and weather developments drove position changes from oil and natural gas to gold and coffee

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.

The below summary highlights futures positions and changes made by hedge funds across 24 commodities futures up until last Tuesday, November 5. The reporting period covered a week where trade deal optimism continued to run high with stocks and bond yields both rising while the prospect for further U.S. rate cuts continued to deflate.

Just two months ago the appetite for key commodities among speculators, i.e. leveraged money managers or hedge funds, hit rock bottom. Back then the net-long across the 24 major futures tracked in this report dropped to a record low of just 38k lots. While the Bloomberg Commodity Index since then has only managed to recover by 2.2% the net-long has nevertheless jumped and last week it reached 587k lots, a 15-week high.

Conflicting news on tariffs roll back created a very volatile week for gold and silver. Ahead of Thursdays additional weakness the net longs in both had been cut primarily through increases in gross short positions. In gold the gross short jumped by 15% to 31k lots, a 22-week high. Both metals have been challenged by the recent rise in bond yields which have cut the total amount of negative yielding debt globally to $11.6 trillion, a one-third reduction since the August 28 peak. The improved outlook for has also led to a reduction in U.S. rate cut expectations. 

Despite its worst weekly decline since November 2016 gold has yet to break any major technical levels. Using retracement levels from the run up since May the levels we focus on are $1448/oz, $1413/oz and most importantly $1380/oz, the range top between 2014 and June this year. 

Continued copper buying reduced the net-short to 18k lots, the lowest since April 30. Another sign that the market is sensing a change in the outlook and with that reduced appetite from macro funds to hold short copper positions as a hedge against an economic slowdown. However having failed last week to break above the 200-day moving average at $2.7280/lb and with the speculative short much reduced the short-term outlook could now become more challenging.

Bets on rising energy prices rose by more than 100k lots in the week to November 5. Trade optimism and the prospect for further OPEC supply cuts supported a third weekly increase in WTI (+12k lots) and Brent (+28k lots) crude oil longs. During the past three weeks funds have bought 109k lots, still less than the 180k lots that was sold the previous three weeks.

A November chill across the eastern U.S. has helped lift natural gas prices and demand and as a result the net-short was halved last week.

Speculators cut short positions in Arabica coffee by 30% as the market tightens on concerns adverse weather in Brazil will lower yields. 

Hedge funds have due to the forward curve structure been holding a profitable net-short in coffee since 2017. The short periods of recovery during this time has mainly been driven by short-covering and whether this time is any different remains to be seen. Support has however started to emerge with the outlook for a rising supply deficit into the 2019-2020 season from a surplus the previous period. 

The cotton short more than doubled ahead of Friday’s price supportive WASDE report in which it delivered a bigger-than-expected cut to US and global supplies.

What is the Commitments of Traders report?

The Commitments of Traders (COT) report is issued by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) every Friday at 15:30 EST with data from the week ending the previous Tuesday. The report breaks down the open interest across major futures markets from bonds, stock index, currencies and commodities. The ICE Futures Europe Exchange issues a similar report, also on Fridays, covering Brent crude oil and gas oil.

In commodities, the open interest is broken into the following categories: Producer/Merchant/Processor/User; Swap Dealers; Managed Money and other.

In financials the categories are Dealer/Intermediary; Asset Manager/Institutional; Managed Money and other.

Our focus is primarily on the behaviour of Managed Money traders such as commodity trading advisors (CTA), commodity pool operators (CPO), and unregistered funds.

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.