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CoT Update – Bullish USD Sentiment Remains a Key Theme in Futures Market

CoT Update – Bullish USD Sentiment Remains a Key Theme in Futures Market

What's on this page

CoT Highlights:

  • USD buying remains a significant trend
  • Euro large speculators quickly nearing flat
  • Updates on GBP, AUD, CAD, and others

For a timelier indicator of sentiment in major currencies and markets, see the IG Client Sentiment page.

Since April, the central theme in the futures market has been the selling of currencies versus the US dollar, and this trend has room to continue. Overall, while there are 52-week extremes, and in the case of AUD a nearly 3-yr extreme, CHF near an 11-yr level, there is room to go before seeing the kind of major extremes across the board one would expect to see at a big turning point in the dollar. The take-away is that over the intermediate-term there will likely be some twist and turns, but more dollar buying could be in the cards.

Every Friday (or Monday in this case due to the July 4th holiday) the CFTC releases an overview of traders’ positioning in the futures market as reported for the week ending on Tuesday. In the table below we’ve outlined key statistics in the category of large speculators (i.e. hedge funds, CTAs, etc.). This group of traders typically employ trend-following strategies. When analyzing the data, we take into consideration the direction of their position, magnitude of changes, as well as extremes.

Key stats: Net position, one-week change, and where the current position stands relative to the past 52 weeks.

Data Source: CFTC

With the second half of the year under way, see how sentiment could tie in with our recently released DailyFX Q3 Forecasts.

Large speculator profiles for major FX & markets

US Dollar Index (DXY)

A relatively benign one-week change; positioning remains closer to a selling extreme than a buying extreme, broadly speaking.


At 24k contracts, the net-long held in the euro is the smallest since May 2017, but nowhere near a bearish extreme of course. Large specs in this contract have a solid long-term track record of correctly identifying trends, we’ll want to pay attention to whether they soon move to a net-short stance.

British Pound

Pound selling continue for a 4th week in a row, pushing their net-short to 40k contracts and in nearing the largest in a year. The pace of selling has been aggressive the past three months and may indicate a shorter-term extreme, but nothing longer-term to glean from recent changes.

Japanese Yen

Japanese yen positioning changes have been one of the more difficult to read into this year. Strong short covering on the earlier-year rally, but very slow to re-establish shorts during the most recent leg lower.

Canadian Dollar

Selling continued for a 3rd week in a row, increasing the net speculative short to the largest in over a year. At -53k contracts, it’s a sizable position and could quickly move into record territory if recent trends are any indication.

Swiss Franc

Swiss franc speculative shorts remain pressing, with -40k representing one of the largest shorts since 2007.

Australian Dollar

AUD short positioning is very near the largest since 2015, but at -41k it has plenty of room to extend before rivaling the extremes (~77k) seen in 2013 and 2015.

New Zealand Dollar

If there is one true extreme out there, it’s in the New Zealand dollar. Not only is -26k contracts a record, but it’s coming in almost straight-line fashion from a relatively large long position held just three months ago. This could at the least put a floor in kiwi, if not help an outright bounce grow legs.


Gold positioning remains relatively small looking back over the past year, but seeing no real rush for the exits. A break of the 2015 trend-line, though, is viewed as a catalyst for further selling.


Volatility in silver positioning continues, at this time there isn’t anything to report here.


Copper positioning went from a record long 5 weeks ago to the smallest long in a year. The velocity of the move may put a short-term floor in as selling gets exhausted, but overall not at any kind of major net extreme.

Crude Oil

Crude oil positioning remains near a record amount, but its sheer size has given little indication to an exhaustion in trend.

S&P 500 (E-mini)

Nothing of significance to report here this week.

Resources for Forex & CFD Traders

Whether you are a new or experienced trader, we have several resources available to help you; indicator for tracking trader sentiment, quarterly trading forecasts, analytical and educational webinars held daily, trading guides to help you improve trading performance, and one specifically for those who are new to forex.

---Written by Paul Robinson, Market Analyst

You can follow Paul on Twitter at @PaulRobinsonFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.