BlueGold Pummeled By Oil Rout, Down 20% Last Week

May 11 2011 | 1:11pm ET

BlueGold Capital Management lost 20% about last week as oil prices hit the skids.

The London-based commodities specialist is not the only hedge fund to take a beating last week: Astenbeck Capital Management, Clive Capital, Transtrend and the Man Group's AHL strategy were among the funds suffering significant drops at the end of last week, when oil prices fell about 13%. But it may be the hardest-hit, losing some US$500 million of the US$2.4 billion it managed, The Wall Street Journal reports. The losses wiped out the 17% gain that Blue Gold had managed through April.

For BlueGold, there must be a sickening feeling of déjà vu: The firm was forced to deny liquidation rumors last February after it dropped 11% in the year's first few weeks. The fund remained in the red until December, when it soared 23% to ensure a 13% return for the year.

BlueGold also suffered a 19% drop in late 2008, which didn't stop it from finishing its first year in business up 209%.

BlueGold founder Pierre Andurand remains bullish on oil, the Journal reports. He blamed the losses on nervous investors who had recently jumped into the oil markets.

Many of his fellow oil traders appeared mystified by the unusually steep drop in oil prices, suggesting it could not have been predicted. But, according to the Journal, one hedge fund did.

Taylor Woods, the Blackstone Group-backed hedge fund launched in February by former Credit Suisse proprietary commodities traders George Taylor and Trevor Woods, apparently sensed something early last week, before Thursday's rout, because it exited its oil trades. The move saved the $470 million fund a bundle; it lost only 0.1% last week and remains up 2.5% on the year.

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