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UPDATE 1-Speculators up net long U.S. dollar bets to 5-week high -CFTC, Reuters

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UPDATE 1-Speculators up net long U.S. dollar bets to 5-week high -CFTC, Reuters

(Adds table, details) By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed NEW YORK, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Speculators boosted their net long bets on the U.S. dollar in the latest week to a five-week high, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday. The value of the net long dollar position was $15.29 billion in the week ended Sept. 17. The net long dollar position had stood at $13.33 billion last week. To be long a currency means traders believe it will rise in value, while being short points to a bearish bias. U.S. dollar positioning was derived from net contracts of International Monetary Market speculators in the Japanese yen, euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Canadian and Australian dollars. In a wider measure of dollar positioning that includes net contracts on the New Zealand dollar, Mexican peso, Brazilian real and Russian ruble, the greenback posted a net long position of $15.40 billion in the week ended Sept. 17, compared with $12.58 billion the previous week. On Friday, the U.S. dollar rose against a basket of currencies and it posted its first weekly increase in three, helped by hopes that the Federal Reserve would not lower rates aggressively. Against a favorable economic backdrop, the Fed lowered key lending rates by a quarter point on Wednesday, but signaled a higher bar to further reductions in borrowing costs. Interest rates futures implied traders saw a 63% chance of another rate cut by year-end, compared with 69% late on Thursday, CME Group’s FedWatch program showed. While interest rate cuts typically weaken the U.S. dollar, because investors often swap dollars for foreign currencies to take advantage of better interest rates in other countries, the recent Fed rate cuts have done little to hurt the greenback. The strength of the U.S. economy relative to the rest of the world and low interest rates around the globe have led investors to favor the U.S. dollar. Japanese Yen (Contracts of 12,500,000 yen) $-2.759 billion 17 Sep 2019 Prior week week Long 50,842 56,579 Short 26,980 23,988 Net 23,862 32,591 EURO (Contracts of 125,000 euros) $9.488 billion 17 Sep 2019 Prior week week Long 164,272 180,535 Short 232,831 230,377 Net -68,559 -49,842 POUND STERLING (Contracts of 62,500 pounds sterling) $6.728 billion 17 Sep 2019 Prior week week Long 21,332 37,903 Short 107,456 130,136 Net -86,124 -92,233 SWISS FRANC (Contracts of 125,000 Swiss francs) $0.574 billion 17 Sep 2019 Prior week week Long 15,125 16,087 Short 19,681 18,979 Net -4,556 -2,892 CANADIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Canadian dollars) $-1.497 billion 17 Sep 2019 Prior week week Long 62,004 54,971 Short 42,181 43,448 Net 19,823 11,523 AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 Aussie dollars) $2.751 billion 17 Sep 2019 Prior week week Long 34,566 36,994 Short 74,648 90,008 Net -40,082 -53,014 MEXICAN PESO (Contracts of 500,000 pesos) $-2.108 billion 17 Sep 2019 Prior week week Long 135,507 126,807 Short 53,881 31,170 Net 81,626 95,637 NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (Contracts of 100,000 New Zealand dollars) $2.291 billion 17 Sep 2019 Prior week week Long 15,824 22,490 Short 51,867 52,280 Net -36,043 -29,790 (Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by David Gregorio and Tom Brown)