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Hedge funds ramp up US equity short positions

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Hedge funds are rebuilding their short positions in US equities amid worsening economic data and corporate earnings, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Short sellers are now the most bearish they have been on US markets since November 2011, following the downgrade of the US’s sovereign credit rating.

Large speculators, mostly hedge funds, grew their net short positions in S&P 500 e-mini futures to roughly 321,000 contracts as of Tuesday, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shows. Data from JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s prime broker unit showed a similar pattern, with the firm’s hedge fund clients last week raising bearish wagers against exchanged-traded funds and financial shares.

Hedge funds are also unwinding their long positions in the technology industry at the fastest pace in 15 months, having earlier chased a rally in the sector, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s prime broker unit.

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