VIX Speculators Pushed Bearish Bets Higher For 6th Time In Past 7 Weeks

VIX Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large volatility speculators boosted their bearish net positions in the VIX futures markets this week, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.

The non-commercial futures contracts of VIX futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of -155,980 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday October 15th. This was a weekly change of -17,300 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of -138,680 net contracts.

The week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) going up by 4,316 contracts (to a weekly total of 80,525 contracts) while the gross bearish position (shorts) rose by a greater amount of 21,616 contracts for the week (to a total of 236,505 contracts).

VIX speculators have now raised their bearish bets for the sixth time out of the past seven weeks as traders continue to bet on lower volatility. The past seven weeks have seen a total of -98,827 contracts added to the existing bearish position. This week’s standing is now the most bearish level for the VIX speculators since April 30th when bets hit a record bearish level of -180,359 contracts.

VIX Commercial Positions:

The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of 164,490 contracts on the week. This was a weekly uptick of 19,251 contracts from the total net of 145,239 contracts reported the previous week.

VIX Futures:

Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the VIX Futures (Front Month) closed at approximately $16.87 which was a shortfall of $-3.10 from the previous close of $19.97, according to unofficial market data.

*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) 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

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