Speculative investors turn neutral in JPY and CHF

The latest IMM data cover the week from 4 to 11 August.

The week to 11 August saw the first weakness on world equity markets in more than a month. The setback in risk appetite is also visible in the IMM data, which show that speculative investors reduced their aggregated short USD positions by almost one third.

Meanwhile, however, long positions in the other safe-haven currencies CHF and JPY have been scaled back such that speculative investors are now neutral in USD/CHF and USD/JPY.

The significant long positions that have been built up in NZD, AUD, and CAD remain in place. It will, however, be interesting to see if the recent setback in the commodity currencies has been catalysed by a reduction in exposure by speculative investors. Indeed the sell-off in the commodity currencies does have the potential to be quite strong given the size of the positions that have been established.

Short positions in GBP were extended slightly, but remain relatively modest at 4.5 percent of open interest.

The IMM data

The IMM data is part of the Commitments of Traders (COT) reports published by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The IMM data provides a breakdown of each Tuesday's open futures positions on the International Money Market (IMM) a division of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. All of a trader's reported futures positions in a commodity are classified as commercial if the trader uses futures contracts in that particular commodity for hedging as defined in CFTC Regulation 1.3(z), 17 CFR 1.3(z). A trader may be classified as a commercial trader in some commodities and as a noncommercial trader in other commodities.