According to the CFTC Commitments of Traders report for the week ended July 24, net LENGTH for crude oil futures declined -20 823 contracts to 610 471. Net LENGTH for heating oil futures increased +1 689 contracts to 41 712 while that for gasoline rose 2 860 contracts to 99 642. Net SHORT for natural gas increased +11 557 contracts to 128 111 for the week. Crude oil prices showed signs of recovery after correcting from the recent peaks made in early July. Yet, traders remained cautious with both long and short bets trimming. Meanwhile, prices of refined oil products soared as a result of weaker crude oil prices (cost of input declining), resulting in more bullish views on heating oil and gasoline.
In the precious metal complex, bears overwhelmed in both gold and silver trading. Speculative short positions for gold futures jumped +11 437 contracts, compared with a +2 193 increase in long positions, resulting in a decline of -9 244 contracts in NET LENGTH to 48 597 contracts. Meanwhile, speculative short positions for silver futures rose +6 193 contracts, compared with a +849 increase in long positions, leading to a -5 344 decline in NET LENGTH to 3 538 contracts. For PGMs, NET SHORT of platinum dropped -1 528 contracts to 8 116 while NET LENGTH for palladium was down -1 906 contracts to 3 447 during the week. The benchmark Comex gold and silver contracts remained under pressure amidst higher Treasury yields.