This summary highlights futures positions and changes made by hedge funds across commodities and forex during the week to August 16. A week that potentially saw a cycle peak in US stocks with the S&P 500 reversing lower after reaching a four-month high, and where the dollar and treasury yields both traded calm before pushing higher. Commodities meanwhile continued their recent recovery with all sectors, except precious metals and grains recording gains.
Hedge funds were net buyers for a third week with the total net long across the 24 major commodity futures tracked in this update rising by 14% to reach a seven week high at 988k lots. Some 56% below the recent peak reached in late February before Russia’s attack on Ukraine drove an across-the-board volatility spike which forced funds to reduce their exposure. Since then and up until early July, worries about a global economic slowdown, caused by a succession of rapid rate hikes in order to kill inflation, was one of the key reasons for the slump in speculative length.
Returning to last week, the 123k lot increase was split equally between new longs being added and short positions being scaled back, and overall the net increase was broad led by natural gas, sugar, cattle and grains with most of the selling being concentrated in crude oil and gold.