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Alternative Market Briefing

CFTC data shows significant speculative activity across asset classes

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Hedge funds are making big moves in commodities this month according to a new report from BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, released today. According to work from hedge fund analyst Mary Ann Bartels, BofA Merrill Lynch and data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), large speculators are making moves across asset classes.

The report shows that large speculators are buying S&P 500 futures, and NASDAQ 100 futures while also shorting the Russel 2000. Report authors note, "Long/Short exposure was about 23% net long, which is significantly below the historical average of 35-40%." Speculators are showing a preference for growth, large cap and high quality equities.

In Commodities, speculators are shorting wheat and natural gas while going long soybean and corn. Speculators are also long crude oil. Gold has also seen a sell off recently, but is expected to remain high over the longer term. "Our long-term target for the next few years is $2000-3000 range," the report said.

Treasuries have also been the subject of an aggressive sell off. 2-yr TNotes were sold by 78%. Shorts tripled in the 30-yr T-bonds futures and 10-yr T-note. The sell off is a notable trend after a previous flight to government bonds as a safe haven during recent high volatility. A Reuters report notes that bonds suffered their worst we......................

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