Speculator Extremes: Cocoa, Bitcoin, EAFE & Corn Lead Bullish & Bearish Positions

The latest update for the weekly Commitment of Traders (COT) report was released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday for data ending on September 12th.

This weekly Extreme Positions report highlights the Most Bullish and Most Bearish Positions for the speculator category. Extreme positioning in these markets can foreshadow strong moves in the underlying market.

To signify an extreme position, we use the Strength Index (also known as the COT Index) of each instrument, a common method of measuring COT data. The Strength Index is simply a comparison of current trader positions against the range of positions over the previous 3 years. We use over 80 percent as extremely bullish and under 20 percent as extremely bearish. (Compare Strength Index scores across all markets in the data table or cot leaders table)


Here Are This Week’s Most Bullish Speculator Positions:

Cocoa Futures


The Cocoa Futures speculator position comes in as the most bullish extreme standing this week. The Cocoa Futures speculator level is currently at a 100.0 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the percent strength score totaled 9.7 this week. The overall net speculator position was a total of 87,623 net contracts this week with a change of 1,403 contract in the weekly speculator bets.


Speculators or Non-Commercials Notes:

Speculators, classified as non-commercial traders by the CFTC, are made up of large commodity funds, hedge funds and other significant for-profit participants. The Specs are generally regarded as trend-followers in their behavior towards price action – net speculator bets and prices tend to go in the same directions. These traders often look to buy when prices are rising and sell when prices are falling. To illustrate this point, many times speculator contracts can be found at their most extremes (bullish or bearish) when prices are also close to their highest or lowest levels.

These extreme levels can be dangerous for the large speculators as the trade is most crowded, there is less trading ammunition still sitting on the sidelines to push the trend further and prices have moved a significant distance. When the trend becomes exhausted, some speculators take profits while others look to also exit positions when prices fail to continue in the same direction. This process usually plays out over many months to years and can ultimately create a reverse effect where prices start to fall and speculators start a process of selling when prices are falling.


Bitcoin


The Bitcoin speculator position comes next in the extreme standings this week. The Bitcoin speculator level is now at a 100.0 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the percent strength score was 41.7 this week. The speculator position registered 2,232 net contracts this week with a weekly change of 193 contracts in speculator bets.


3-Month Secured Overnight Financing Rate


The 3-Month Secured Overnight Financing Rate speculator position comes in third this week in the extreme standings. The 3-Month Secured Overnight Financing Rate speculator level resides at a 99.4 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score came in at 35.2 this week. The overall speculator position was 316,511 net contracts this week with a change of 44,439 contracts in the weekly speculator bets.


Heating Oil


The Heating Oil speculator position comes up number four in the extreme standings this week. The Heating Oil speculator level is at a 92.3 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score totaled a change of 23.3 this week. The overall speculator position was 36,922 net contracts this week with a change of -1,815 contracts in the speculator bets.


VIX


The VIX speculator position rounds out the top five in this week’s bullish extreme standings. The VIX speculator level sits at a 90.3 percent score of its 3-year range. The six-week trend for the speculator strength score was 2.1 this week.

The speculator position was -39,342 net contracts this week with a change of 3,384 contracts in the weekly speculator bets.


This Week’s Most Bearish Speculator Positions:

MSCI EAFE MINI


The MSCI EAFE MINI speculator position comes in as the most bearish extreme standing this week. The MSCI EAFE MINI speculator level is at a 0.0 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score was -32.8 this week. The overall speculator position was -58,192 net contracts this week with a change of -20,113 contracts in the speculator bets.


Corn


The Corn speculator position comes in next for the most bearish extreme standing on the week. The Corn speculator level is at a 0.0 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score was -26.4 this week. The speculator position was -87,988 net contracts this week with a change of -42,356 contracts in the weekly speculator bets.


Palladium


The Palladium speculator position comes in as third most bearish extreme standing of the week. The Palladium speculator level resides at a 2.1 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score was -9.6 this week. The overall speculator position was -10,712 net contracts this week with a change of 309 contracts in the speculator bets.


2-Year Bond


The 2-Year Bond speculator position comes in as this week’s fourth most bearish extreme standing. The 2-Year Bond speculator level is at a 2.3 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score was -10.6 this week. The speculator position was -1,239,609 net contracts this week with a change of -21,719 contracts in the weekly speculator bets.


10-Year Note


Finally, the 10-Year Note speculator position comes in as the fifth most bearish extreme standing for this week. The 10-Year Note speculator level is at a 10.3 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score was -9.6 this week. The speculator position was -744,302 net contracts this week with a change of 47,233 contracts in the weekly speculator bets.


*COT Report: The COT data, released weekly to the public each Friday, is updated through the most recent Tuesday (data is 3 days old) and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) 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) as well as their open interest (contracts open in the market at time of reporting). See CFTC criteria here.


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Disclosure: Foreign Currency trading and trading on margin carries a high level of risk and can result ...

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