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Hedge funds exceptionally bearish on crude oil

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With global economic growth continuing to slow and production cuts from Saudi Arabia and its OPEC⁺ allies having failed to lift prices, hedge funds and other investors have turned exceptionally bearish in their sentiment towards crude oil, according to a report by Reuters.

The equivalent of 64 million barrels in the six most important petroleum-related futures and options contracts were reportedly sold by investors in the seven days ending 27 June, with the sales concentrated in crude contracts split evenly between Brent (-31 million barrels) and NYMEX and ICE WTI (-33 million barrels).

The net position across the three major crude contracts meanwhile, fell to 205 million barrels, the lowest since at least 2013, while bullish long positions exceeded bearish short ones by a ratio of just 1.86.

The last time fund managers were so pessimistic about crude prices was in 2020 during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Reuters.

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