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CFTC Issues Reports on Net Position Changes

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Tuesday released two new reports that identify daily net position changes in the physical and financial futures markets.

The new reports -- "Large Trader Net Position Changes" and "Trading Account Net Position Changes" -- "will provide the public, for the first time, with a view of the amount of trading that results in daily net position changes," said CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler.

"The data shows that, in many cases, less than 20% of average daily trading volume results in traders changing their net long or net short all-futures-combined positions. The data should provide the public, academia and traders with further insight into the nature of market liquidity."

The new "Large Trader Net Position Changes" report relies on the Commission's Large Trader Reporting System and identifies, for a specific week, the average daily net position change at the reportable trader level, according to CFTC. The data covers 35 physical and financial futures markets from January 2009 through May 2011 and provides amounts for net position changes using the same larger-trader classifications as found in the CFTC's "Disaggregated Commitments of Traders" reports.

The data in the "Trading Account Net Position Changes" report is based on transaction data provided to the Commission by the regulated exchanges. It identifies, for a given week, the average daily net position change at the trading account level, the CFTC said. The data covers 28 physical and financial futures markets from April 2010 through May 2011.

The CFTC urged the public to comment on the usefulness of the reports. It suggested that the reports could become available on a routine basis if the agency receives the funding to pay for their creation.

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