According to the CFTC Commitments of Traders report for the week ended November 20 NET LENGTH for crude oil, heating oil and gasoline futures continued to fall. Speculative long positions of crude oil futures declined -32 596 contracts, while shorts slipped -18 585 contracts, resulting in a fall in NET LENGTH, by -14 011 contracts, to 367 187 contracts. Both crude oil benchmarks plunged during the reporting week. The front-month WTI contract fell -2.88% while the Brent contract was down -3.99%. Oil prices have recovered over the past few trading days. The focus is on OPEC meeting on December 6. The members would discuss whether to cut output. For refined oil products, Net LENGTH for heating oil futures plunged -9 811 contracts to 7 402, while that for gasoline was down -2 203 contracts to 77 361. The front-month Nymext contract for heating oil dived -6% while RBOB gasoline dropped -3.2%. NET LENGTH for natural gas futures rose +7 914 contracts, to 30 260 contracts for the week. Yet, bets for longs and shorts declined markedly. The Nymex contract plunged -7.98% for the week.
On the precious metal complex, bets for gold and silver futures were trimmed on the long and short sides, while leaving both in NET SHORTs. Speculative long positions for the former slipped -2 9140 contracts, while shorts dived -21 053, resulting in a NET SHORT of 8 896 contracts. The benchmark Comex contract climbed +0.5% during the week in concern. For the latter, speculative long positions dropped -2 972 contracts while shorts plunged -9 389, trimming NET SHORT, by -6 417 contracts, to 10 728 contracts. Both gold and silver prices strengthened during the reporting week. The Comex gold futures gained +1.48% while silver soared +3.02%. Expectations of fewer Fed funds rate hike in 2019 due to slower economic growth helped support demand for precious metals. For PGMs, NET LENGTH of Nymex platinum futures dropped -206 contracts to 21 785 while that for palladium added +884 contracts to 14 264.