Funds book profits after sharp fall in oil prices: Kemp

SectorFinancial Markets

(John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own)LONDON- Hedge funds were small buyers of petroleum last week as managers repurchased some short positions after heavy selling and price falls the previous week.Money managers purchased the equivalent of 10 million barrels in the six most important futures and options contracts in the week to March 30.Previous bearish short positions were trimmed by 24 million barrels, while bullish longs were also cut by 14 million barrels, exchange and regulatory data shows.Portfolio managers were small buyers of Brent (+7 million barrels), NYMEX and ICE WTI (+4 million) and European gasoil (+4 million) but sold U.S. gasoline (-1 million) and U.S. diesel (-3 million).Most changes seem to have been profit-taking, or loss-reducing, coming after heavy sales of 88 million barrels the previous week, the fastest rate of selling since successful COVID-19 vaccine trials were announced in November.The hedge fund community remains bullish overall, with long positions outnumbering shorts more...