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Hedge Funds Raise Brent Crude Net-Longs to Nine-Month High

(Business Week) Hedge funds and other money managers raised bullish bets on Brent crude to the highest level in nine months, according to data from ICE Futures Europe.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 139,111 lots in the week ended Dec. 31, the London-based exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. The increase of 13,714 contracts is the third consecutive weekly gain and brings net- longs to their highest since March 27.

Bearish bets by producers, merchants, processors and users of Brent outnumbered bullish positions by 151,548, from 127,305 lots last week. Swaps dealers were net-long 52,771 contracts, up from 46,446 a week earlier.

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