Hedge funds cut bullish bets on oil by the most in almost three months amid speculation fallout from the Irish debt crisis and China’s efforts to curb inflation will slow economic growth, sapping demand for fuel. The funds and other large speculators reduced so called long positions, or wagers on rising prices, by 15 percent in the seven days ended Nov. 16, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report, released Nov. 19. It was the first drop in four weeks and the largest decline since the seven days ended Aug. 24.
Bets on gains in oil prices climbed to the highest level in at least four years in the week before the Federal Reserve announced it would spend $600 billion buying Treasuries through the second round of so called quantitative easing, or QE2, to keep the economic recovery on track.
Crude rose to a two year high of $87.81 a barrel on Nov. 11 in New York. It has since lost 7.8 percent as Ireland moved closer to a European Union bailout and China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, took steps to curb bank lending.
“The drop from extremely high levels makes perfectly valid sense, given the uncertainty now of QE2 and renewed concern regarding a European banking situation, namely Ireland,” said Kyle Cooper, director of research at IAF Advisors in Houston. “This has led to uneasiness regarding oil demand, and the liquidation occurred in that very large speculative position.” Net long positions dropped by 30,518 futures and options combined to 178,397 the week ended Nov. 16, according to the commission report. These are held by what the CFTC categorizes as managed money, including hedge funds, commodity pools and commodity trading advisers......Read the entire article.
Who does some of the major hedge funds turn to when they need advice?