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Speculators cut net short bets on Mexican peso to lowest since Nov. 3 -CFTC, Reuters

(In second paragraph, corrects number of contracts to 3,281 from 3,122; makes clear "lowest" refers to number of contracts) By Dion Rabouin NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) - Currency speculators decreased the number of net short bets on the Mexican peso for the fifth straight week, bringing the number of contracts against the peso to the lowest since a week before the U.S. presidential election, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday showed.

The number of net short contracts against the peso moved to 3,281 at a value of $85.9 million. That was the lowest number of contracts since the week of Nov. 3.

The peso has been one of the hottest currencies in the world in 2017, rising by around 17 percent against the U.S. dollar since the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

After touching an all-time high of 22.03 pesos to the dollar on Jan. 19, on Friday the dollar fell to 18.74 pesos, its lowest since Nov. 9.

Speculators and investors have taken note of the peso's turnaround. UBS on Friday released a note to clients saying they had moved to an overweight position in the peso.

The peso's rise has been "mainly due to a more dovish Fed and moderating statements from U.S. officials on important issues such as NAFTA, the trade agreement paramount to the Mexican economy," UBS analysts said in the note.

"This in combination with the orthodox policy stance of the Mexican central bank," said Alejo Czerwonko, director of emerging markets investment strategy at UBS. "Importantly, long-term valuations still indicate the peso as attractive, despite the rally in recent weeks.' Speculators raised their net-long positions in the dollar overall, the CFTC data showed, increasing bullish bets on the greenback for the third straight week and pushing net longs to their highest since Jan. 31.

The Reuters calculation for the aggregate U.S. dollar position is derived from net positions of International Monetary speculators in the yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars.

Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) $7.768 billion 21 Mar 2017 Prior week week Long 35,039 35,563 Short 102,026 106,860 Net -66,987 -71,297 EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros) $5.437 billion 21 Mar 2017 Prior week week Long 159,590 148,272 Short 179,252 189,299 Net -19,662 -41,027 POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling) $8.136 billion 21 Mar 2017 Prior week week Long 32,586 42,367 Short 140,430 149,484 Net -107,844 -107,117 SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs) $1.114 billion 21 Mar 2017 Prior week week Long 9,089 12,950 Short 21,068 21,947 Net -11,979 -8,997 CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars) $-1.592 billion 21 Mar 2017 Prior week week Long 30,293 74,620 Short 54,696 53,162 Net -24,403 21,458 AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars) $-3.27 billion 21 Mar 2017 Prior week week Long 85,397 73,553 Short 40,442 30,288 Net 44,955 43,265 MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos) $0.139 billion 21 Mar 2017 Prior week week Long 57,730 51,271 Short 61,011 56,738 Net -3,281 -5,467 NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars) $0.388 billion 21 Mar 2017 Prior week week Long 16,599 19,509 Short 29,209 25,114 Net -12,610 -5,605 (Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)