Hedge Funds Boost ICE Brent Net-Longs From 14-Month Low

Jan 27, 2014 8:05 am ET

(Updates with producers in third paragraph.)

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Hedge funds and other money managers raised bullish bets on Brent crude by 5 percent from a 14-month low a week ago, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will increase, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 90,315 lots in the week ended Jan. 21, the London-based ICE exchange said today in its weekly Commitments of Traders report. This is an increase of 4,657 contracts from 85,658, which was the lowest since Nov. 13, 2012.

Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of the North Sea crude outnumbered bullish wagers by 244,707 contracts, an increase of 25,185 in their net-shorts.

ICE publishes, usually each Monday, aggregate numbers for long and short positions for speculators and institutional investors, as well as commercial companies that buy or sell futures to protect against price moves. Analysts and investors follow changes in speculators’ positions because such transactions can reflect an expectation of a change in prices.

Brent futures rose 0.3 percent on the ICE exchange to $106.73 a barrel in the week to Jan. 21 and were at $107.14 as of 12:28 p.m. London time.

Swap dealers boosted net-long positions in Brent for a third week, increasing them by 9 percent to 217,124 contracts, the highest since Nov. 12.

Money managers’ bullish bets on European gasoil rose by 1,963 contracts, or 4 percent, to 49,533 lots, ICE data show.

See ICCBBMMN <Index> GP <GO> for a chart of managed money net longs for ICE Brent.

--Editors: Raj Rajendran, Sharon Lindores