Speculators rebuilt their bullish bet on the U.S. dollar earlier this week, raising net longs from a five-week low, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.
Speculators had scaled back bullish dollar bets on doubts about U.S. President Donald Trump’s ability to deliver on his pledges of tax cuts and infrastructure spending in the wake of his and the Republicans’ failure to gather enough votes to enact healthcare reform last month.
The value of the dollar’s net long position totalled $15.04 billion in the week ended April 11, up from $14.67 billion the previous week which was the lowest since Feb. 28.
It was unclear whether speculators pared their net longs in reaction to Trump’s view in a Wall Street Journal interview published late Wednesday where he said the dollar was “getting too strong,” which may hurt the economy.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six other currencies, eased nearly 0.7 percent this week as traders shifted out of dollar into the Japanese yen in a safe-haven move on geopolitical concerns about U.S. tensions with Syria, Russia and North Korea.
Speculative net shorts on the Japanese yen fell to 34,764 contracts, the fewest since Dec. 6.
The dollar recorded a 2.2 percent drop against the Japanese currency this week and reached its lowest level since Nov. 17 at 108.52 yen. It also broke below its 200-day moving average against the yen, which is a bearish technical sign for the greenback.
The Reuters calculation for the aggregate U.S. dollar position is derived from net positions of International Monetary speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars.
(Reporting by Richard Leong; editing by Bill Trott, G Crosse)