How to Read the COT Report and Use It in Forex Trading?


Those who are not super conservative but are not extreme risk takers either, look at the COT for guidance. Due to the nature of the report, it is impossible not to have a USD-heavy portfolio if the COT is used to build a forex trading portfolio. Moreover, the revenues are relatively small, since all a trader is doing is following the trend. Key turning points in the chart, more often than not, occur when the commercial positions are at extreme levels or at areas of significant reference, having previously acted as a turning point. Note, the current positioning in commercials as of late Aug. 2018, while getting extremes, still doesn’t show any signs of finding enough commercial pressure to turn around, and as a historical reference, the positions could still get more extremes . Small Speculators– Private investors and retail traders, they don’t have to report their positions to CFTC.

3 Factors that determine your Professional Trading MindsetMany traders who are new to the subject experience… 10 answers that explain futures trading simplyAre you looking for a definition of futures and an explanation… The long signal is provided when “commercials” buy and the “open interest” decreases at the same time. As already mentioned, signals are more reliable if they match the trend direction. In other words, it is the trader who is classified as commercial or speculative, not the trade. This is why big players like Goldman Sachs applied for a commercial designation, even though it is obvious many of its trades are actually speculative.

Simply put, even the disaggregated data is too aggregated to be said to accurately represent the market. Forex commitment of traders reports are based on the corresponding futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. For example, in the EUR/USD pair, while the rate has been trading lower since April 2018, note how overwhelmingly bullish asset managers remain? These are all factors that have an impact on asset managers to remain bullish in EUR/USD. As an example, if EUR/USD trades from 1.13 to 1.16 in the last 5 trading days the data is collected, and commercials show an overall increase, it’s telling us that they are betting with conviction for the price not to trade much lower.

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Otherwise, they may have refrained to gain that much exposure, waiting for lower prices. Like the large specs, this group also tends to carry large positions and due to the hedging nature of its activity, act as contrarian traders, buying when prices are low and vice versa. Therefore, in any healthy trend, we should expect commercials sellers to increase on directional moves higher or commercials buyers to dial up their exposure on a directional move to the downside. The Sterling is a perfect example of a market with clear bearish connotations, as large specs have been building up short positions as prices moved lower and even adding shorts during the up move. What this means is that the smart money continues to bet for the continuation of the downtrend in GBP/USD.

short positions

This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into commitment of traders report forex your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day.

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So if this trader is expecting a rise, they should see also a growth in the open interest. It’s absolutely essential that all the explanations provided above are adjusted to the circumstances of events present in the market. This means that any major fundamental release, namely central bank policy meetings, geopolitical events or economic data, may distort the analysis of the CoT report as players reassess their exposure in the market. Commercial Traders represent companies and institutions that trade to offset risk and, therefore, are not looking to profit from the change in price itself. They do not care about the current market situation and are excluded from the report as they are not looking to trade the market with any kind of strategy. Access Weekly Commitments of Traders Reports, as well as trade analysis and recommendations for various markets, daily fundamental and technical market overviews, future price outlooks, and more through our Insider Market Advisory.

CFTC’s weekly Commitments of Traders report will be delayed this week due to broker attack – ForexLive

CFTC’s weekly Commitments of Traders report will be delayed this week due to broker attack.

Posted: Thu, 02 Feb 2023 08:00:00 GMT [source]

In order to identify the right time for market entry, we analyse the trend of the daily chart. Its highs and lows, as well as the divergence may indicate an upcoming trend change. This indicator is regularly a part of almost each standard software. Red arrows show signals for going short and green ones for going long . As you can see on this figure, the COT-signals are very reliable, especially if they match the weekly trend. If you want to track the COT data changes each week the numbers are contained within a long text file.

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The CFTC releases the data on Fridays but the report is current as of the Tuesday before each Friday’s release. The data is available from the CFTC’s website and is prominently featured right from the home page. In fact, of the three types of traders, investors usually pay attention to the one type with requirements most like the individual trader. The COT report can provide a window into what large institutional traders are doing. Commodity fund managers, for the most part, plus a few of the big banks and brokers.

futures contracts

The Commitments of Traders reports are provided by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission . COT reports provide a breakdown of each Tuesday’s open interest for markets in which 20 or more traders hold positions equal to or above the reporting levels established by the CFTC. Since their performance is based on the average of the industry, this category plays it much safer, engaging in well-established trends or/and where they expect the price to be heading in a time horizon of at least 3 to 6 months. While not the group that has the most relevance in the movement of the currency futures short term, at times, their involvement represents a significant share of the total outstanding positions and acts as a key component to monitor. These reports include financial contracts, such as currencies, U.S.

What’s more, the price context is also important and we must always reflect on whether the market is on a trend or trapped in range conditions. That said, the CoT is nonetheless a great weapon, even during times of non-bias conditions, to gauge what side is most at risk or alternatively, whether or not, a potential breakout of the range gets validated by an increase in open interest. We’ve probably come to one of the most overlooked categories, but not necessarily one to brush aside, as it can provide some great hints and can also act as a contrarian indicator. Like the commercials, dealers also fulfill a function of net hedgers, so it’s not at the core of their business model to speculate in the future direction of prices, as in the case of non-commercial/large specs.


However, many analysts still have not abandoned the old legacy version. They figure it is better to look at what the non-commercials are doing as a whole, rather than bother to look at the breakdown and have to add up two numbers that are available elsewhere as a single one. Every weekday, traders buy and sell financial products like stocks, bonds, commodities, and indices in their trillions. The supplemental report is the one that outlines 13 specific agricultural commodity contracts.

Likewise, short-call and long-put open interest are converted to short futures-equivalent open interest. For example, a trader holding a long put position of 500 contracts with a delta factor of 0.50 is considered to be holding a short futures-equivalent position of 250 contracts. A trader’s long and short futures-equivalent positions are added to the trader’s long and short futures positions to give “combined-long” and “combined-short” positions. Open interest, as reported to the Commission and as used in the COT report, does not include open futures contracts against which notices of deliveries have been stopped by a trader or issued by the clearing organization of an exchange. The short format shows reportable open interest and week-to-week open interest changes separately by reportable and non-reportable positions. For reportable positions, additional data is provided for commercial and non-commercial holdings, spreading , changes from the previous report, percent of open interest by category, and numbers of traders.

Introduction and Classification MethodologyThe Commodity Futures Trading Commission publishes the Commitments of Traders reports to help the public understand market dynamics. The COT reports provide a breakdown of each Tuesday’s open interest for futures and options on futures markets in which 20 or more traders hold positions equal to or above the reporting levels established by the CFTC. The Commitments of Traders report was first published by the CFTC in 1962 for 13 agricultural commodities to inform the public about the current conditions in futures market operations . The data was originally released just once a month, but moved to once every week by 2000.

In the middle of November, as the net short positions hit the extreme level of 45,650, investors started to buy the EUR futures. These are typically hedge funds and various types of money managers, including registered commodity trading advisors ; registered commodity pool operators or unregistered funds identified by CFTC. The strategies may involve taking outright positions or arbitrage within and across markets. The traders may be engaged in managing and conducting proprietary futures trading and trading on behalf of speculative clients.

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For one, the report provides lagging data since it is published every Friday. Therefore, you should only use it to get an overview of the state of the market. Looking at the COT example in the table above, we can see that Nasdaq 100 futures, traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange had an open interest of 57,779 contracts on June 15, 2021.

CFTC weekly commitments of traders report will be delayed – FXStreet

CFTC weekly commitments of traders report will be delayed.

Posted: Thu, 02 Feb 2023 08:00:00 GMT [source]

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master’s in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The COT is a key data source for traders, as it can provide guidance on whether to go long or short on each market.

In addition to step one, we take a closer look at the “open interest” and the “commercials” . By using our site and accepting the terms this means you have read and agreed to our Privacy Policy. If you are interested in doing some independent research on the COT report you can get it free from the CFTC’s website at For an example of a Forex COT report, you can refer to the following image.

Treasury securities, Eurodollars, stocks, VIX and Bloomberg commodity index. These reports have a futures-only report and a combined futures and options report, the latter the one we want to use. The TFF report breaks down the reportable open interest positions into Dealer/Intermediary, Asset Manager/Institutional, Leveraged Funds, and Other Reportables. Between 2001 and 2004, volume in the foreign-exchange market increased more than 50%, illustrating the overall rise in popularity of currency trading. The advent of online trading following the technology boom has allowed many equity and futures traders to look beyond their more traditional trading instruments.

Nearly 42k long bets were closed last, which is its third largest weekly decline on record, which saw net-short exposure fall by -25.1k contracts to -56.8k contracts. In the picture above you can see the EUR/USD price in the first half of the picture making new highs but the COT diverging. After that, we got a new bullish trend on the USD and the fundamental reasons at that time were a slowing global growth and a too high inflation making the market expect a hawkish Fed. This is a clear example of the fundamentals paired with the COT as an extra analysis. Another critical exercise in your trading pairs is to mark up in your chart with vertical lines the period where this new engagement of large specs occurred .

She has worked in multiple cities covering breaking news, politics, education, and more. Her expertise is in personal finance and investing, and real estate. Dealer/Intermediary – typically ‘sell-side’ and include large banks and dealers in swaps, securities and other derivatives. Reporting firms send Tuesday open interest data on Wednesday morning.