Global COT Flow
The data above comes from the Commitments of Traders (COT) reports by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), and the London Metal Exchange (LME). The CFTC and ICE publish COT reports every Friday (Eastern time), covering information about positions held by different types of traders in futures and options markets as of Tuesday the same week. The LME's COT reports (also known as COTR) are released each Wednesday, reflecting positions held at close of business the previous Friday (release is postponed in the event of holidays).
COT reports by the CFTC and ICE are available in many formats, including legacy reports and disaggregated reports. Legacy reports classify traders into Commercial (hedgers) and Large Speculators (speculators), while the disaggregated reports divide traders into producers, swap dealers, managed money, and other reportables.
Reports to focus on would vary based on type of products. In terms of financial products, the market mainly looks at the legacy reports. MacroMicro has derived the Indices. Calculated by subtracting positions held by speculators from positions held by hedgers, the indices help gauge bullish/bearish sentiment of large traders. Commercial traders tend to take positions contrary to prevailing market trends to hedge against price risks in their business operations, while large speculators, who do not engage in the physical sales of the financial products, mainly trade to profit from price discrepancies and thus tend to move in the same direction as market trends. For raw materials and commodities, positions held by Managed Money traders, a category in the disaggregated reports, are worthy of observation.
LME's COT reports divide market traders into investment firms or credit institutions, investment funds, other financial institutions, and commercial undertakings. In the COT reports, we pay special attention to the position data of investment funds to understand the overall trading strategies of hedge funds, private equity fund and other professional fund managers.