Oil Bears Go into Hiding

Speculators pulled bearish oil bets at the fastest pace on record as Saudi Arabia renewed strikes on Yemen and U.S. output slowed.

Hedge funds reduced their short position in West Texas Intermediate crude by 32 percent in the seven days ended April 21, driving the net-long position to the highest since July, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.

A record drop in rigs drilling for crude reduced production even as demand rose, boosting speculation that WTI has found a floor after the biggest rout since 2008. A 32 percent rally since March was also stoked by concern that the conflict in Yemen may disrupt traffic through the world’s fourth-busiest channel for shipping oil.