marctomarket.com / by Marc Chandler / Jan 8, 2016
The most striking development among speculative positioning at the end of last year and the first session of 2017 is not that adjustments were small. There was only one gross speculative position adjustment of more than 10k contracts. With sterling seemingly unable to sustain even modest upticks, the bears added 13.1k contracts to the gross short position, lifting it to 120.2k contracts.
Rather, it is notable that speculators mostly added to positions, long and short, rather than close positions at the very end of the year. Speculators added to gross long foreign currency futures positions, except in the Japanese yen and Swiss franc where 2.6k and 2.5k contracts were liquidated respectively. Speculators also added to gross short positions. Here there was only one exception, the Japanese yen. Although the dollar closed broadly higher ahead of the weekend, all the currencies we track here, save the Mexican peso, gained against the dollar in the three sessions since the end of the CFTC reporting period.
From time-to-time it is useful to recall why many market participants look at the speculative positioning in the currency futures market. It is not that the foreign exchange is primarily a futures market. It is primarily an over-the-counter market in which daily turnover averages in excess of $5 trillion a day.
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