Traders in financial futures options and futures combined positions

It is collated by the CFTC from submissions from traders in the market and covers positions in futures on grains, cattle, financial instruments, metals, petroleum and other commodities. The exchanges that trade futures are primarily based in Chicago and New York. Eastern Timeand the traders in financial futures options and futures combined positions reflects the commitments of traders on the prior Tuesday.

The report was first published in Junebut versions of the report can be traced back to as early as when the U. The weekly report details trader positions in most of the futures contract markets in the United States. Data for the report is required by the CFTC from traders in markets that have 20 or more traders holding positions large enough to meet the reporting level established by the CFTC for each of those markets.

The report provides a breakdown of aggregate positions held by three different types of traders: As one would expect, the largest positions are held by commercial traders that actually provide a commodity or instrument to the market or have bought a contract to take delivery of it.

Thus, as a general rule, more than half the open interest in most of these markets is held by commercial traders. There is also participation in these markets by speculators that are not able to deliver on the contract or traders in financial futures options and futures combined positions have no need for the underlying commodity or instrument.

They are buying or selling only to speculate that they will exit their position at a profit, and plan to close their long or short position before the contract becomes due. In most of these markets the majority of the open interest in these "speculator" positions are held by traders whose positions are large enough to meet reporting requirements. Since the Commitments of Traders report includes holdings of options as well as futures contracts.

Many speculative traders use the Commitments of Traders report to help them decide whether or not to take a long or short position. One theory is that "small speculators" are generally wrong and that the best position is contrary to the net non-reportable position. Another theory is that commercial traders understand their market the best and taking their position has a better chance of profit which is pretty much the same thing as the "small speculators" being wrong.

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