Energy: Crude oil traded lower during the week to March 2 with profit taking emerging as the dollar strengthened and expectations rose that OPEC+ at their meeting on March 4 meeting would increase production by up to 1.5 million barrels from April. The weakness, however, only triggered a small amount of risk reduction from funds with the combined net-long in WTI (-3.7k) and Brent (-3.8k) being reduced to 728k lots. With the net-long staying close to the highest level since October 2018, the 7.6k reduction was however the biggest on a weekly basis since early November, just before vaccine news helped kick start the 80% rally seen since then.
Metals: In gold, the continued loss of momentum in response to rising real yields, especially following the slump below $1760/oz, helped drive a continued fund exodus. The net long slumped by one-third to a 22-month low at 57.9k lots on a combination of long liquidation and fresh short selling, a developments that saw the long-short ratio drop below 2 for the first time since May 2019. In silver and platinum, selling has been more subdued given the tailwind from industrial metals and with that some relative strength against gold. The net-long in both was reduced by around 20% to the a seven and a one-month low respectively.
Profit taking continued in HG copper and despite rising 1% on the week, the net long was cut for a second week to 65.5k lots, the lowest since August. Just ahead of Thursday when the break below support at $4.04/lb triggered a rapid slump to $3.85/lb before recovering.
Agriculture: The grains sector with the exception of CBOT wheat was sold on a combination of general risk reduction and the stronger dollar. Biggest reductions in soybeans (-16.8k) followed by corn (-12.6k). Soft commodities were mixed following a couple of weeks of net buying with the most noticeable change being an 83% increase in the cocoa long and a 9% reduction in cotton after the price found resistance ahead of the 2018 high at 95.60 cents per pound.