(Adds background, details) May 24 (Reuters) - Speculators' net bearish bets on U.S. 10-year Treasury note futures rose to their highest in more than six months earlier this week, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.
The amount of speculators' bearish, or short, positions in 10-year Treasury futures exceeded bullish, or long, positions by 423,351 contracts on May 21, according to the CFTC's latest Commitments of Traders data.
This was biggest amount of net shorts in 10-year T-notes since Nov. 6.
A week earlier, speculators held 352,817 net short positions in 10-year T-note futures.
Treasury futures prices jumped on Wednesday and Thursday as fears of a trade war between China and the United States spurred a safe-haven stampede into U.S. government bonds from stocks and other risky assets. Ten-year T-notes hit their highest price levels since September 2017.
U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields fell to 2.386% on Thursday, the lowest since December 2017.
Ten-year yields also fell below three-month bill rates on Thursday as their discount over three-month rates grew to almost seven basis points, a level not seen since late March.
The persistent inversion of this part of the U.S. yield curve preceded every recession in the past 50 years.
Among interest rates futures, speculators built net longs in Eurodollar futures to 582,350 contracts, their highest level since May 2013, amid expectations the Federal Reserve would lower key borrowing costs to counter a slowing economy.
The following is a table of the speculative positions in Treasury futures on the Chicago Board of Trade and in Eurodollar futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the latest week: U.S. 2-year T-notes (Contracts of $200,000) May 21, 2019 Prior week week Long 1,098,146 1,163,038 Short 1,131,961 1,196,343 Net -33,815 -33,305 U.S. 5-year T-notes (Contracts of $100,000) May 21, 2019 Prior week week Long 784,242 811,771 Short 952,918 949,674 Net -168,676 -137,903 U.S. 10-year T-notes (Contracts of $100,000) May 21, 2019 Prior week week Long 619,494 616,402 Short 1,042,845 969,219 Net -423,351 -352,817 U.S. T-bonds (Contracts of $100,000) May 21, 2019 Prior week week Long 146,880 147,150 Short 190,890 193,093 Net -44,010 -45,943 U.S. Ultra T-bonds (Contracts of $100,000) May 21, 2019 Prior week week Long 88,758 84,555 Short 416,104 418,064 Net -327,346 -333,509 Eurodollar (Contracts of $1,000,000) May 21, 2019 Prior week week Long 1,847,850 1,769,489 Short 1,265,500 1,249,259 Net 582,350 520,230 Fed funds (Contracts of $1,000,000) May 21, 2019 Prior week week Long 225,360 228,346 Short 377,889 341,814 Net -152,529 -113,468 (Reporting by Richard Leong Editing by Susan Thomas and Diane Craft)