REFILE-UPDATE 1-Speculators raise net shorts vs sterling ahead of 'Brexit' - CFTC data
(Refiles to correct 3rd paragraph to say 'long bets', not 'net long bets') June 24 (Reuters) - Currency speculators increased their net short positions against the British pound in the week before the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday. The number of contracts for net short positions against the pound rose by more than 15,000 for the week ending June 21. That was still well below a five-year high touched during the week ending June 7 when net short positions rose to more than 66,000. While net shorts rose overall, it was due to a reduction in long bets rather than an increase in shorts. The number of short bets actually decreased by almost 5,000 contracts, data showed, but long bets fell by nearly 20,000. There were a total of 51,947 net shorts against sterling in the last week for a total value of negative-$4.75 billion. The positions were tracked through Tuesday, two days before Britain held its landmark vote in which citizens decided to leave the European Union on Thursday. To be short a currency is to bet it will decline in value, while being long is to wager that its value will rise. Sterling fell to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in 31 years on Friday, following the 'Brexit' vote. It plunged as much as 10 percent from its late Thursday levels to $1.3228, hitting its weakest level since before the 1985 Plaza Accord. Speculators raised their net long bets on the U.S. dollar to $6.62 billion. Investors had cut bets by nearly $8 billion the week before to around $2.7 billion, the smallest net long positions since April 12. Net long positions on Japan's yen, a traditional safe-haven currency, decreased during the week. The Reuters calculation for the aggregate U.S. dollar position is derived from net positions of International Monetary speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars. Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) $-6.242 billion June 21, 2016 Prior week week Long 79,398 77,703 Short 27,102 22,013 Net 52,296 55,690 EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros) $8.619 billion June 21, 2016 Prior week week Long 88,639 104,510 Short 149,985 160,999 Net -61,346 -56,489 POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling) $4.755 billion June 21, 2016 Prior week week Long 41,707 61,706 Short 93,654 98,367 Net -51,947 -36,661 SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs) $-0.829 billion June 21, 2016 Prior week week Long 24,016 28,492 Short 17,635 21,362 Net 6,381 7,130 CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars) $-0.202 billion June 21, 2016 Prior week week Long 40,664 42,394 Short 38,069 23,954 Net 2,595 18,440 AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars) $0.524 billion June 21, 2016 Prior week week Long 38,611 39,512 Short 45,654 46,290 Net -7,043 -6,778 MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos) $1.85 billion June 21, 2016 Prior week week Long 13,509 16,894 Short 82,389 82,513 Net -68,880 -65,619 NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars) $0.217 billion June 21, 2016 Prior week week Long 30,013 29,558 Short 33,058 33,376 Net -3,045 -3,818 (Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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