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USD Shorts Squeezed, Heavy Selling in JPY & NZD, GBP Longs Slashed - COT Report

USD Shorts Squeezed, Heavy Selling in JPY & NZD, GBP Longs Slashed - COT Report

Justin McQueen, Analyst

US Dollar, NZD/USD, USD/JPY, COT Report –Analysis

  • USD Shorts Squeezed Further
  • Japanese Yen Net Shorts at Pre-Pandemic Levels
  • Heavy Selling in NZD

USD Shorts Squeezed, Heavy Selling in JPY & NZD, GBP Longs Slashed- COT Report

In the week to March 23rd, CFTC speculative positioning data highlighted that traders continued to unwind their USD shorts, albeit to a lesser degree than the last two weeks as short positions were cut by $2.72bln. That said, the direction of the trade remains in fitting with the view that the US exceptionalism trade could be back, particularly as Europe are heading towards a third Covid wave. When comparing this USD short-covering compared to 2018, the USD has gained over 3% vs 6% in 2018 and given that shorts vs G10 stand at $11.1bln, risks remain tilted to the upside for the greenback.

Once again the Japanese Yen was on the offer with another $1.63bln of outflows, which sees net-shorts on the Yen at the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. However, like I stated last week I do still believe that further upside in USD/JPY is limited from current levels, where the move does appear to be somewhat exhausted on the technical front. That said, I must respect the price action and given that we are approaching the Japanese Fiscal Year-end, the Japanese Yen could remain soft.

Sentiment deteriorated in commodity currencies, in which the New Zealand Dollar felt the brunt of the selling with net-longs further reduced as outright shorts began to pick-up. Meanwhile, both the AUD & CAD saw a marginal pullback in net-longs. Although, with the US outperformance narrative gaining traction, I expect the Canadian Dollar to strengthen against the Australian Dollar going forward.

Despite the single currency trading at multi-month lows, the Euro saw a surprise increase in net longs, in which the move largely stemmed from fast money accounts as traders look to have taken profits on shorts. However, with the macro-backdrop remaining somewhat uninspiring for the Euro, the trend is lower for now. Elsewhere, positioning changes in the Pound saw net-longs cut back by $580mln (the biggest reduction in net-longs this year) amid the broad-based USD rise. But as I said last week, given that the net % of open interest in the Pound is at elevated levels, the currency is at risk of overshooting on pullbacks.

USD/JPY Mixed
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of clients are net long. of clients are net short.
Change in Longs Shorts OI
Daily 0% 0% 0%
Weekly 2% -3% -1%
What does it mean for price action?
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Weekly FX Positioning

USD Shorts Squeezed, Heavy Selling in JPY & NZD, GBP Longs Slashed - COT Report

Source: CFTC, DailyFX (Covers up to March 23rd, released March 26th)

The Analytical Abilities of the COT Report

How to Read the CFTC Report

US Dollar Positioning

USD Shorts Squeezed, Heavy Selling in JPY & NZD, GBP Longs Slashed - COT Report

Source: Refinitiv, DailyFX

USD/JPY Positioning

USD Shorts Squeezed, Heavy Selling in JPY & NZD, GBP Longs Slashed - COT Report

Source: Refinitiv, DailyFX

GBP/USD Positioning

USD Shorts Squeezed, Heavy Selling in JPY & NZD, GBP Longs Slashed - COT Report

Source: Refinitiv, DailyFX

1W & 4W Positioning Change

USD Shorts Squeezed, Heavy Selling in JPY & NZD, GBP Longs Slashed - COT Report

If you would like to receive the full COT FX breakdown, contact IG.

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