Speculators Pull Back On Currency Bets as of July 3 : CFTC
07/09/2012| 04:21pm US/Eastern
By Chana R. Schoenberger
Speculative traders on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange bet less heavily this week on foreign-exchange futures, government data showed Monday.
For the euro, investors wagered a net $23 billion that the currency will decline in value against the dollar. At 146,177 contracts, that position is 8% lower than the previous week, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly report on the commitments of traders.
While the CME's speculators make up a small part of the foreign-exchange market, their trades are seen as representing hedge funds' bets more widely.
The dollar also attracted 13% less interest from speculators this week, with a net $23.2 billion wagered that the greenback will rise.
Investors continue to think the Japanese yen will appreciate, but they held only $654 million in net bets on that position, down 8% from the week before. That represented 4,175 contracts.
For the Swiss franc, traders bet a net $2.5 billion in wagers that the currency will fall in value, down 19% from the previous week, or 19,060 contracts.
The British pound is expected to fall against the dollar, with investors holding a net $525 million in bets.
Speculators changed their minds about the Australian dollar's prospects this week. They now hold a net $961 million in bets that the Australian dollar will rise. Investors also hold bets that the Canadian and New Zealand dollars will both appreciate, the data showed.
The CFTC's weekly report shows speculative investors' positions in major currencies held against the dollar. It viewed the markets as of Tuesday. The data is usually released on Friday, but was held over because of the July 4 national holiday.
Write to Chana R. Schoenberger at firstname.lastname@example.org
--Georgia Wells contributed to this article.