(Bloomberg) -- Oil bulls that piled into bets on rising crude prices were likely caught flat-footed when the market plunged later in the week. 

Money managers increased net bullish positions in Brent by 9%, or 16,116 lots, to reach an eight-week high in the week ended Tuesday. Long-only bets in US crude climbed by 2,575 contracts to the highest in five weeks.

The moves preceded a selloff that saw oil plunge 5% in two days. Investor sentiment turned negative on worries that hawkish central banks would cause economic growth to slow and dent oil consumption. 

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