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WTI Crude Oil Non-Commercial Positions:
Large speculators and traders decreased their bullish net positions in the WTI crude oil futures markets last week following five straight weeks of gains, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.
The non-commercial contracts of WTI crude futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 440,074 contracts in the data reported through January 3rd. This was a weekly change of -4,858 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 444,932 net contracts.
Despite last week’s decline, speculative net positions remained over the +400,000 threshold for a fourth consecutive week after getting a boost from the OPEC agreement to reduce oil production.
WTI Crude Oil Commercial Positions:
The commercial traders position, categorized by the CFTC as hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -466,764 contracts last week. This is a weekly change of -7,394 contracts from the total net of -459,370 contracts reported the previous week.
USO Crude Oil ETF:
Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the USO Crude Oil ETF, which tracks the price of WTI crude oil, closed at approximately $11.44 which was a decline of $-0.29 from the previous close of $11.73, according to market data from Yahoo Finance.
*COT Report: The COT data, released weekly to the public each Friday, is updated through the previous Tuesday (data is 3 days old) and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) as well as the commercial traders (hedgers & traders for business purposes) were positioned in the futures markets. The CFTC categorizes trader positions according to commercial hedgers (traders who use futures contracts for hedging as part of the business), non-commercials (large traders who speculate to realize trading profits) and nonreportable traders (usually small traders/speculators). Find CFTC criteria here: (http://www.cftc.gov/MarketReports/CommitmentsofTraders/ExplanatoryNotes/index.htm).
Article by CountingPips.com