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Copper Speculators added to their bearish positions for 167-week low

Copper Speculators added to their bearish positions for 167-week low

By InvestMacro

Here are the latest charts and statistics for the Commitment of Traders (COT) data published by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The latest COT data is updated through Tuesday May 30th and shows a quick view of how large traders (for-profit speculators and commercial entities) were positioned in the futures markets.

Weekly Speculator Changes led by Gold & Steel

The COT metals markets speculator bets were lower this week as two out of the six metals markets we cover had higher positioning while the other four markets had lower speculator contracts.

Leading the gains for the metals was Gold (8,584 contracts) with Steel (12 contracts) also having a positive week.

The markets with declines in speculator bets for the week were Copper (-5,894 contracts), Silver (-834 contracts), Palladium (-761 contracts) and Platinum (-4,073 contracts) also registering lower bets on the week.

Copper Speculators added to their bearish positions for 167-week low

Highlighting the COT metals data this week is the continued slide for the Copper speculative positions.

The large speculator position in Copper futures fell by -5,894 contracts this week and have now declined in five out of the past six weeks. The decrease in Copper bets has taken the current net contracts from a standing of +8,934 contracts on April 18th to a total of -35,702 contracts this week for an overall 6-week decline by -44,636 contracts.

This week’s standing marks the most bearish level of the past 167-weeks, dating back to March 17th of 2020 when bearish positions were -38,055 contracts.

Copper prices have been on the decline since last year with prices down by a little over 25 percent since the highs of March 2022. Recent weakness in China’s economy is continuing to weigh on Copper’s outlook. The futures price closed higher this week at $3.72 and bounced off the 200-week moving average which coincides with a $3.65 support level. Futures prices had fallen in five out of the previous six weeks before this week’s slight rebound.


Data Snapshot of Commodity Market Traders | Columns Legend
May-30-2023 OI OI-Index Spec-Net Spec-Index Com-Net COM-Index Smalls-Net Smalls-Index
Gold 449,515 13 169,316 52 -190,005 51 20,689 32
Silver 133,619 18 21,124 48 -34,536 52 13,412 41
Copper 223,185 61 -35,702 0 34,259 100 1,443 28
Palladium 10,658 64 -6,050 10 6,472 91 -422 16
Platinum 69,929 72 23,406 70 -27,973 36 4,567 29

 


Strength Scores led by Platinum & Steel

COT Strength Scores (a normalized measure of Speculator positions over a 3-Year range, from 0 to 100 where above 80 is Extreme-Bullish and below 20 is Extreme-Bearish) showed that Platinum (70 percent) and Steel (58 percent) lead the metals markets this week.  comes in as the next highest in the weekly strength scores.

On the downside, Copper (0 percent) and Palladium (10 percent) come in at the lowest strength level currently and are in Extreme-Bearish territory (below 20 percent).

Strength Statistics:
Gold (51.6 percent) vs Gold previous week (47.8 percent)
Silver (48.4 percent) vs Silver previous week (49.6 percent)
Copper (0.0 percent) vs Copper previous week (5.1 percent)
Platinum (69.6 percent) vs Platinum previous week (79.0 percent)
Palladium (9.7 percent) vs Palladium previous week (16.7 percent)
Steel (57.8 percent) vs Palladium previous week (57.8 percent)

Platinum & Steel top the 6-Week Strength Trends

COT Strength Score Trends (or move index, calculates the 6-week changes in strength scores) showed that Platinum (-2 percent) and Steel (-2 percent) are the leaders over the past six weeks trends for metals.

Copper (-39 percent) leads the downside trend scores currently with Gold (-9 percent) as the next market with lower trend scores.

Move Statistics:
Gold (-9.1 percent) vs Gold previous week (-14.1 percent)
Silver (-7.8 percent) vs Silver previous week (-2.5 percent)
Copper (-38.6 percent) vs Copper previous week (-22.0 percent)
Platinum (-2.1 percent) vs Platinum previous week (32.6 percent)
Palladium (-3.8 percent) vs Palladium previous week (16.5 percent)
Steel (-1.5 percent) vs Steel previous week (-0.6 percent)


Individual Markets:

Gold Comex Futures:

Gold Futures COT ChartThe Gold Comex Futures large speculator standing this week recorded a net position of 169,316 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly gain of 8,584 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 160,732 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bullish with a score of 51.6 percent. The commercials are Bullish with a score of 50.6 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bearish with a score of 31.8 percent.

Gold Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 52.8 29.7 9.7
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 15.1 71.9 5.1
– Net Position: 169,316 -190,005 20,689
– Gross Longs: 237,306 133,329 43,611
– Gross Shorts: 67,990 323,334 22,922
– Long to Short Ratio: 3.5 to 1 0.4 to 1 1.9 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 51.6 50.6 31.8
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bullish Bullish Bearish
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: -9.1 10.2 -14.7

 


Silver Comex Futures:

Silver Futures COT ChartThe Silver Comex Futures large speculator standing this week recorded a net position of 21,124 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly fall of -834 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 21,958 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bearish with a score of 48.4 percent. The commercials are Bullish with a score of 52.1 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bearish with a score of 40.9 percent.

Silver Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 41.0 31.1 19.1
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 25.2 57.0 9.0
– Net Position: 21,124 -34,536 13,412
– Gross Longs: 54,837 41,602 25,484
– Gross Shorts: 33,713 76,138 12,072
– Long to Short Ratio: 1.6 to 1 0.5 to 1 2.1 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 48.4 52.1 40.9
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bearish Bullish Bearish
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: -7.8 5.0 7.6

 


Copper Grade #1 Futures:

Copper Futures COT ChartThe Copper Grade #1 Futures large speculator standing this week recorded a net position of -35,702 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly lowering of -5,894 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -29,808 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bearish-Extreme with a score of 0.0 percent. The commercials are Bullish-Extreme with a score of 100.0 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bearish with a score of 27.6 percent.

Copper Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 24.7 48.9 7.3
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 40.7 33.5 6.7
– Net Position: -35,702 34,259 1,443
– Gross Longs: 55,099 109,115 16,379
– Gross Shorts: 90,801 74,856 14,936
– Long to Short Ratio: 0.6 to 1 1.5 to 1 1.1 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 0.0 100.0 27.6
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bearish-Extreme Bullish-Extreme Bearish
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: -38.6 41.8 -37.2

 


Platinum Futures:

Platinum Futures COT ChartThe Platinum Futures large speculator standing this week recorded a net position of 23,406 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly decrease of -4,073 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 27,479 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bullish with a score of 69.6 percent. The commercials are Bearish with a score of 35.6 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bearish with a score of 29.3 percent.

Platinum Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 53.7 29.6 10.5
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 20.2 69.7 3.9
– Net Position: 23,406 -27,973 4,567
– Gross Longs: 37,534 20,734 7,315
– Gross Shorts: 14,128 48,707 2,748
– Long to Short Ratio: 2.7 to 1 0.4 to 1 2.7 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 69.6 35.6 29.3
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bullish Bearish Bearish
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: -2.1 0.5 9.1

 


Palladium Futures:

Palladium Futures COT ChartThe Palladium Futures large speculator standing this week recorded a net position of -6,050 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly decline of -761 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -5,289 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bearish-Extreme with a score of 9.7 percent. The commercials are Bullish-Extreme with a score of 91.5 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bearish-Extreme with a score of 16.3 percent.

Palladium Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 14.9 70.1 12.3
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 71.6 9.4 16.2
– Net Position: -6,050 6,472 -422
– Gross Longs: 1,584 7,473 1,308
– Gross Shorts: 7,634 1,001 1,730
– Long to Short Ratio: 0.2 to 1 7.5 to 1 0.8 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 9.7 91.5 16.3
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bearish-Extreme Bullish-Extreme Bearish-Extreme
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: -3.8 2.7 5.5

 


Steel Futures Futures:

Steel Futures COT ChartThe Steel Futures large speculator standing this week recorded a net position of -5,299 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday. This was a weekly increase of 12 contracts from the previous week which had a total of -5,311 net contracts.

This week’s current strength score (the trader positioning range over the past three years, measured from 0 to 100) shows the speculators are currently Bullish with a score of 57.8 percent. The commercials are Bearish with a score of 42.8 percent and the small traders (not shown in chart) are Bearish-Extreme with a score of 5.4 percent.

Steel Futures Statistics SPECULATORS COMMERCIALS SMALL TRADERS
– Percent of Open Interest Longs: 7.9 83.3 0.7
– Percent of Open Interest Shorts: 26.3 64.6 1.1
– Net Position: -5,299 5,413 -114
– Gross Longs: 2,291 24,022 200
– Gross Shorts: 7,590 18,609 314
– Long to Short Ratio: 0.3 to 1 1.3 to 1 0.6 to 1
NET POSITION TREND:
– Strength Index Score (3 Year Range Pct): 57.8 42.8 5.4
– Strength Index Reading (3 Year Range): Bullish Bearish Bearish-Extreme
NET POSITION MOVEMENT INDEX:
– 6-Week Change in Strength Index: -1.5 2.3 -33.7

 


Article By InvestMacroReceive our weekly COT Newsletter

*COT Report: The COT data, released weekly to the public each Friday, is updated through the most recent Tuesday (data is 3 days old) and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) were positioned in the futures markets.

The CFTC categorizes trader positions according to commercial hedgers (traders who use futures contracts for hedging as part of the business), non-commercials (large traders who speculate to realize trading profits) and nonreportable traders (usually small traders/speculators) as well as their open interest (contracts open in the market at time of reporting). See CFTC criteria here.

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