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Hedge funds cut Brent crude bullish bets to four-month low

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 Hedge funds and other money managers cut bullish bets on Brent crude to the lowest level in four months, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

ICE publishes, usually each Monday, aggregate numbers for long and short positions for speculators such as hedge funds and institutional investors, as well as commercial companies that buy or sell futures to protect against price moves.

Analysts and investors follow changes in speculators’ positions because such transactions can reflect an expectation of a change in prices.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered long positions by 116,880 lots in the week ended April 9, the London-based exchange said Monday in its weekly Commitment of Traders report, accessed by Bloomberg.

The cut of 25,212 contracts, or 18 percent, is the first in four weeks and reduces net-longs to the lowest since December 18. Bearish positions by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 250,129 contracts, down by 16,605, or 6.2 percent, for the first decrease in six weeks.