With investors focused on the Fed and the possible interest rate hike, I have being paying more attention than usual to the Commitment of Traders reports (COTs) for Treasurys. (Editor's Note: The COT reports are published every week by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that seeks to provide investors with up-to-date information on futures market operations and increase the transparency of these complex exchanges.)
While the COTs for Treasurys haven’t changed as much as I thought they would, one aspect of a rate hike that does seem to be causing changes is in the foreign exchange market.
When a central bank raises rates domestically, that country’s currency tends to move higher against other currencies. Essentially investments denominated in that currency see an increase in demand and thus the reason for the currency itself rising against other currencies.
With that in mind, the dollar has risen sharply over the last nine months as investors anticipate a rate hike by the Fed and as central banks in China, Japan and the eurozone have either cut rates or implemented some sort of stimulus package.
The actions by the central banks in these countries acts in the same manner as a domestic rate cut and the dollar becomes stronger against the other currency.
Here is where it gets interesting: in the last few weeks, large speculators have become the least bearish toward the Japanese yen that they have been since October 2012.
As far as the euro, large speculators have a net long position on the currency for the first time since July 2013.
What this suggests is that currency futures traders are changing their line of thinking with regard to a rate hike in the U.S.
If they were convinced that a rate hike was coming any time soon, they would be adding bearish bets against the yen and euro.
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