COT reports postponed due to US shutdown

Commodities 3 minutes to read

Ole Hansen

Head of Commodity Strategy

Summary:  Crude and gas oil in focus as the US shutdown postpones all COT releases.


During the shutdown of the US federal government, the Commitments of Traders report will not be published. No report has been issued by the CFTC since the week of December 18. The ICE Futures Europe Exchange, however, continues as normal with Brent crude and gas oil shown below.
ICE Futures Europe Exchange data
In the week to December 31, hedge funds cut bullish Brent crude oil bets by 10,000 lots to 152,000 lots. This came during a week where prices reached but failed to breach a 16-month low at $50/barrel, a key psychological and technical level.

Oil began to recover in the days that followed, not least supported by December production surveys which found that Opec had already made steep cuts ahead of the January start of the Opec+ agreement to cut production by 1.2 million barrels/day.
Brent crude
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 Eastern time 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 behavior 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.
 

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