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Market roundup | Bullish sentiment on crude oil disappears

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-03-2017 Livemint

Hedge funds haven’t been so sceptical on rising West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices since 29 November, the day before the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to cut output, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data. Their net-long position, or the difference between bets on a price increase and wagers on a decline, has dropped 37% from a record touched last month as American crude oil production climbed, sending inventories to an all-time high. The net-long position on WTI crude oil dropped 9.8% in the week ended 21 March, following a record decline in the previous week, according to CFTC. WTI crude oil slipped 0.8% to $47.34 a barrel in the week, and closed at $47.73 on Monday. Bloomberg

Naveen Kumar Saini/Mint

Asia ex-Japan funds raise allocation to India

Allocation to India by Asia ex-Japan funds increased marginally to 13.7% in February from 13.6% in January. According to Kotak Institutional Equities’ latest foreign fund-flow tracker, fund allocation to India by global emerging market funds were at 11% in February compared to 10.8% in January. “Allocation by Asia ex-Japan ETFs (exchange traded funds) to India increased to 9.1% from 8.9% in the previous month,” wrote Kotak, adding that allocation to India by global emerging market exchange traded funds had increased to 9.6% from 9.3% in January. Allocations to India and China constitute more than one-third of the average Asia ex-Japan fund portfolio.

Subrata Jana/Mint

India’s wheat imports seen staying near decade high

India’s wheat imports are likely to remain near the highest in a decade as the world’s second-biggest producer seeks to replenish stockpiles slashed by El Niño-induced drought, according to one of the nation’s largest buyers. Imports may reach three million tonnes (mt) in 2017-18, said S. Sivakumar, chief executive officer of ITC Ltd’s agriculture business division. That would be the second-highest level in the past decade, although down from estimates for 5.5 mt in 2016-17. India is seeking to rebuild stockpiles that likely plunged 44% in March from a year earlier to 9.43 mt, according to state-run Food Corporation of India. India has been purchasing high-protein grain from Australia, Russia and Ukraine. The world’s second-biggest consumer of wheat on Tuesday imposed a 10% duty on imports after scrapping the tax in December. Bloomberg

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