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CFTC expanding its COT reporting this week

I’ve posted on the subject of the Commitment of Traders report a few times on this blog as being a useful tool (Commitment of Traders: A Weekly Report Worth Viewing). As part of a general move toward more market transparency, the CFTC, which produces the weekly report, has been working on making it more useful. To that end, they are coming out with a more detailed report for the financials starting this week. Here’s the story from Reuters.

 By Nick Olivari and Christopher Doering
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Thursday it will provide more information on positions held by large traders in financial futures markets, part of its push to boost transparency.

The new data, to be released weekly starting on Friday, “will provide the public with a better view into the financial futures marketplace,” said CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler.

The report will cover about 30 markets, a CFTC official said, including interest rates, foreign currency and debt.

Nearly all U.S. financial futures are traded at the CME Group <CME.O>. In the second quarter, CME handled 12.16 million contracts a day, 9.2 million of which were financial futures.

The new data will be a companion to the CFTC’s weekly commitment of traders report, published each Friday, which breaks down open interest by broad commercial and noncommercial categories.
The new report will show open interest by held by four categories of large traders:
– sell-side dealers, including large banks
– buy-side asset managers and institutional investors, including pension funds, endowments, insurance companies, mutual funds
– leveraged funds, including hedge funds and other money managers
– other traders who mainly use market to hedge risk, such as corporate treasuries, central banks, smaller banks and mortgage originators

The CFTC began issuing similar expanded trader reports for commodity and energy futures last September.
CFTC said similar to this report, the new data will provide a breakdown of each Tuesday’s open interest for markets in which 20 or more traders hold positions equal to or above the reporting levels established by the CFTC.

A CFTC official said the agency analyzed almost 4,000 traders across the markets using its “Form 40” and other data to determine which of the four categories a trader belongs to, and will soon upgrade its form to provide better data.

The CFTC said it also will make available four years of historical data dating back to June 13, 2006 in a couple of weeks.

By John

Author of The Essentials of Trading

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