Hedge funds accelerate oil buying: Kemp

LONDON (Reuters) – Investors bought crude oil futures and options at the fastest rate for almost six months in the week to Feb. 12. Hedge fund managers are becoming steadily more bullish on the outlook for oil prices as Saudi Arabia makes deep cuts in production, sanctions hit Venezuela and Iran, and the U.S. and China inch toward a trade deal. Hedge funds and other money managers were net buyers of 32 million barrels of Brent crude futures and options in the week to Feb. 22, according to position records published by ICE Futures Europe. Portfolio managers have been net buyers of Brent in nine out of the last 10 weeks, boosting their net position by a total of 130 million barrels since Dec. 4. Last week saw the largest purchases so far. Earlier in the current cycle most position-building came from closing previous bearish short positions, but the balance shifted in the most recent week with most accumulation from initiating new bullish long positions. Fund managers opened 29 million barrels of new long positions while cutting short positions by 3 million barrels in the week to Feb. 12. Funds now hold a net long position of 266 million barrels… continue reading

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