2, 5-Year Spec Treasury Long Positions Surge, 10 Year Shorts Highest Since August: Is Major Curve Flattening Next?

Back on March 18, Goldman Sachs advised clients to do an outright shirt on the 5 Year treasury (with a 2.3% target). And while our skeptical approach to Goldman recommendations has been no secret for a while (as in do the opposite), little did we realize just how pervasive the counter-squid trade has become. Amusingly, since Goldman recommended putting the trade on, net non-commercial speculative contracts (longs minus shorts) have surged to a multi-year high of 265,550 as of May 17. This is nearly double the 137,765 in net contract positioning when Goldman put its recommendation on. While it is unclear how much of a factor, if at all, Goldman's reco has been in this inverse trade recommendation (it appears even the dumb money among Goldman's clients is doing what the smart money and its prop desk is engaging in: namely doing the opposite of what the sell-side recommends), it is very clear that traders have congregated in the short end of the curve, with both 2 and 5 year net exposure near multi year highs, even as the 10 Year, which has seen a rise in yield over the past month, has just tumbled to the highest short exposure since August 2010. That said, will specs again be carted out head first as they were recently in the EUR and USD mauling? And if so, will the ensuing curve flattening result in another major leg down for the financials. The answer is certainly yes, as soon as pain thresholds on either side are breached and the profit taking begins (or the CME hikes Treasury margins).


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