Net-long positions in WTI crude increased by 30,090 futures and options combined to 306,021, the highest level since the week ended Aug. 30. Long positions rose by 17,783 to 329,612, the highest level since September, while shorts dropped 12,307 to 23,591.
Money managers’ bullish wagers on ultra low sulfur diesel, a surrogate for heating oil, rose by 2,215 futures and options combined, or 8.3 percent, to 29,076.
The fuel increased 4.52 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $3.0281 a gallon in the report week.
January was the coldest start of the year since 2001, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Feb. 13. A weather system last week roared out of the South, killing at least 25 people, according to the Associated Press. More than 14,000 flights were scrubbed last week, said FlightAware, a Houston-based tracking service.
“Weather is having a huge impact on the market,” Flynn said. “Diesel has been very active.”
Net-long bets on gasoline held by money managers, including hedge funds, commodity pools and commodity-trading advisers, declined by 132 futures and options combined, or 0.5 percent, to 25,603.
Futures rose 14.95 cents, or 5.7 percent, in the reporting period to $2.7526 a gallon on the Nymex. Prices rose 2.81 cents, or 1 percent, to $2.8053 Feb. 14, the highest settlement since Dec. 27.
Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 0.6 cent to $3.358 a gallon yesterday, the highest level since Oct. 17, according to Heathrow, Florida-based AAA, the largest U.S. motoring group.
Hedge funds and other money managers increased net bullish bets on Brent crude by 30 percent to 109,223 lots in the week ended Feb. 11, the highest since Dec. 31, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.
Net-long wagers on four U.S. natural gas contracts gained 23,692 futures equivalents, or 6 percent, to 421,137.
The measure includes an index of four contracts adjusted to futures equivalents: Nymex natural gas futures, Nymex Henry Hub Swap Futures, Nymex ClearPort Henry Hub Penultimate Swaps and the ICE Futures U.S. Henry Hub contract. Henry Hub, in Erath, Louisiana, is the delivery point for Nymex futures, a benchmark price for the fuel.
Natural gas futures dropped 55.1 cents, or 10 percent, to $4.824 per million British thermal units on the Nymex during the report week.
“Crude net-long positions are approaching the last peak, which was reached in July,” said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures in New York. “Prices should head a bit higher and then we should see an unwinding of some of these long positions.”
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