Aug 22 (Reuters) - Speculators boosted bullish bets on the U.S. dollar in the latest week to their highest in more than two years, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday.
The value of the dollar's net long position soared to $30.40 billion in the week ended Aug. 19, from $27 billion the previous week. That was the highest net long in the U.S. dollar since June 2012.
To be long a currency is taking a view it will rise, while being short is a bet its value will decline.
The jump in dollar net longs was a result of upbeat U.S. economic data such as U.S. housing numbers released earlier this week, culminating in the release on Wednesday of hawkish minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting. The U.S. data plus the minutes backed expectations that the first U.S. interest rate hike since the global financial crisis could be less than a year away.
The Reuters calculation for the aggregate U.S. dollar position is derived from net positions of International Monetary Market speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars.
One of the things that stood out in the report was the increase in euro shorts to 138.825 contracts, which is the highest net short since July 2012, an offshoot of the European Central Bank's easy monetary stance.
Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) 19Aug2014 week Prior week Long 17,976 12,518 Short 105,247 93,615 Net -87,271 -81,097 EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros) 19Aug2014 week Prior week Long 56,774 51,596 Short 195,599 177,613 Net -138,825 -126,017 POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling) 19Aug2014 week Prior week Long 72,230 65,348 Short 58,943 46,549 Net 13,287 18,799 SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs) 19Aug2014 week Prior week Long 6,174 5,247 Short 21,666 22,606 Net -15,492 -17,359 CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars) 19Aug2014 week Prior week Long 41,844 44,053 Short 34,563 26,055 Net 7,281 17,998 AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars) 19Aug2014 week Prior week Long 65,747 54,691 Short 29,173 25,145 Net 36,574 29,546 MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos) 19Aug2014 week Prior week Long 56,207 51,933 Short 43,800 51,974 Net 12,407 -41 NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars) 19Aug2014 week Prior week Long 16,796 17,913 Short 4,764 4,484 Net 12,032 13,429 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Diane Craft)