Speculator Extremes: Mexican Peso, GBP, Corn & Soybeans 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 February 20th.

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:

Mexican Peso


The Mexican Peso speculator position comes in as the most bullish extreme standing this week. The Mexican Peso speculator level is currently at a 97.3 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the percent strength score totaled 4.6 this week. The overall net speculator position was a total of 95,995 contracts this week with a decline of -4,449 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.


British Pound Sterling


The British Pound speculator position comes next in the extreme standings this week. The British Pound speculator level is now at a 87.9 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the percent strength score was 17.8 this week. The speculator position registered 46,312 net contracts this week with a weekly fall of -4,160 contracts in speculator bets.


DowJones Mini


The DowJones Mini speculator position comes in third this week in the extreme standings. The DowJones Mini speculator level resides at a 87.5 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score came in at -12.0 this week. The overall speculator position was 16,728 net contracts this week with a decrease of -3,641 contracts in the weekly speculator bets.


Steel


The Steel speculator position comes up number four in the extreme standings this week. The Steel speculator level is at a 86.0 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score totaled a change of -4.7 this week. The overall speculator position was -2,701 net contracts this week with a dip of -518 contracts in the speculator bets.


Brent Oil


The Brent Oil speculator position rounds out the top five in this week’s bullish extreme standings. The Brent Oil speculator level sits at a 85.8 percent score of its 3-year range. The six-week trend for the speculator strength score was 10.9 this week.

The speculator position was -13,856 net contracts this week with a gain of 1,589 contracts in the weekly speculator bets.


This Week’s Most Bearish Speculator Positions:

Corn


The Corn speculator position comes in as the most bearish extreme standing this 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 -11.5 this week. The overall speculator position was -266,067 net contracts this week with a drop of -20,128 contracts in the speculator bets.


Soybean Meal


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

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score was -19.3 this week. The speculator position was -45,453 net contracts this week with a edge higher by 14 contracts in the weekly speculator bets.


Soybeans


The Soybeans speculator position comes in as third most bearish extreme standing of the week. The Soybeans speculator level resides at a 0.4 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score was -29.6 this week. The overall speculator position was -160,288 net contracts this week with a small increase of 1,463 contracts in the speculator bets.


Soybean Oil


The Soybean Oil speculator position comes in as this week’s fourth most bearish extreme standing. The Soybean Oil speculator level is at a 2.5 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score was -2.9 this week. The speculator position was -33,941 net contracts this week with a drop of -9,325 contracts in the weekly speculator bets.


Japanese Yen


Finally, the Japanese Yen speculator position comes in as the fifth most bearish extreme standing for this week. The Japanese Yen speculator level is at a 6.3 percent score of its 3-year range.

The six-week trend for the speculator strength score was -43.4 this week. The speculator position was -120,778 net contracts this week with a decrease of -9,242 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 in loss of part or all of your investment.Due to the level of risk and market volatility, ...

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