COT: Dollar sold as Fed bails out Wall Street

Forex

Ole Hansen

Head of Commodity Strategy

Summary:  The COT report on FX, bonds and stocks positions and changes during the week to April 14 covered the reaction to the Feds additional USD 2.3tn package to support capital markets


Saxo Bank publishes two weekly Commitment of Traders reports (COT) covering leveraged fund positions in 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 speculators across forex, bonds and stocks up until last Tuesday, April. This period, besides the Easter break, covered the aftermath of the Fed’s additional $2.3tn package to support capital markets. Stocks jumped while the dollar and US 10-year bond yields ticked lower

In forex the selling of dollars extended into a seventh week with the net-short against ten IMM currency futures and the Dollar Index rising by 9% to $9bn. As the table below highlights most currency, despite the Fed bailout news, saw limited changes during a relative quiet Easter holiday period. 

The dollar selling was once again primarily driven by euro buying after hedge funds and other large speculators added 7k lots to bring  the net-long to 87k ($11.9 bn equivalent), a level not seen since 2018.

Elsewhere light selling was seen in CHF, RUB and not least the Mexican peso which despite rallying witnessed an 11th consecutive week of net selling.

Leveraged fund positions in bonds, stocks and VIX

 

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.

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