ETFs pegged to the euro are creeping higher in June in the face of record bearish bets against the currency on Europe’s debt crisis. However, speculators are even more bearish on two other currencies: the British pound and Australian dollar.
Conversely, bullish sentiment on the dollar among institutional investors in the futures market is at record levels.
In other words, investors are betting heavily against the euro.
This extremely crowded trade creates the potential for a so-called short squeeze that could propel the euro higher if speculators rush to cover their bearish short positions. [Euro ETFs Primed for Short Squeeze on Record Bears]
“But the further decline in euro positioning is not as marked as the turn in sentiment against the pound or the Australian dollar, market data shows,” according to a recent Dow Jones report.
Current futures positioning is a sign that investors are expecting further monetary easing measures in the UK, which would hurt the British pound. Also, short positions on the Australian dollar suggest investors are bearish on the world’s largest mineral exporter, which is vulnerable to a slowdown in China, according to the report.
The Australian dollar has been a decent leading indicator for U.S. stocks this year. [Why It Pays to Watch the Aussie Dollar]
Kimble Charting Solutions in a note this week said the spread between commercial and non-commercial Australian dollar traders is the widest in almost 10 years.
Net positions by commercial traders who use derivatives to hedge are long the Australian dollar, while non-commercial speculators are very bearish on the currency.
“When the Australian dollar moves higher, usually risk assets do too,” Kimble said.