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However, when net longs last topped out (at a level much higher than where we are now) at the start of 2018, prices for Brent were still hovering around the $62 mark and ran up about $24 more even as speculators started to pare their long positions.
Long positions in Brent rose by 8 million barrels, which was relatively modest given the complete outage of the Forties pipeline system, while short positions were trimmed by 1 million barrels.
By April 4, hedge funds and other money managers had amassed a net long position in the two main futures and options contracts linked to US gas prices equivalent to 3,280 billion cubic feet.
The combined impact of these changes is that hedge funds and other money managers increased their net long position in crude futures and options by a modest 26mn barrels to 555mn barrels.
The key drivers for long positions typically are the U.S.
But the market has become "locked" into a classic bubble as all the hedge funds and money managers have tried to implement the same, bullish, view on prices at the same time by taking long positions in WTI and Brent futures and options.
However, the pace and speed of the recent rally gives enough reason for caution, as the danger of some profit taking from recently acquired long positions is starting to grow.
It means more participants with long positions are entering the market, indicating bullishness.
Speculators in the New York Mercantile Exchange crude oil market boosted net long positions to a record high in the week ending July 1 in a bet prices would rise, the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.
* A HEDGE FUND IS AN INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP that seeks to balance its risks by "hedging" long positions in some stocks with short sales of others.
Prices of 10-year Japanese government bond futures fell moderately Tuesday morning, with investors adjusting their long positions before seeing the result of bidding for 10-year government bonds in the afternoon.