Astenbeck Adds 4% To Open '13

Feb 7 2013 | 12:57pm ET

Astenbeck Capital Management returned more in January than it did all of last year, when it narrowly avoided its second-straight (and second-ever) down year.

The $5 billion commodity hedge fund, headed by former Citigroup star trader Andrew Hall, rose more than 4% last month, Reuters reports. The fund returned 3.4% last year—a triumph, given that the fund was down more than 10% as recently as August and down 2% at the end of October.

Last month's rally was fueled by a jump in platinum-group metals, with platinum itself rising 9% and palladium up 5%.

"January has turned out to be a good month for most risky assets and our portfolio has benefited accordingly," Hall wrote to investors.

"PGM prices have rallied significantly in recent weeks but we believe they have much further to travel. Accordingly, we maintain a significant exposure to PGMs and in particular to palladium."

Oil remains Astenbeck's largest holding, and it rose 4% last month, although Hall said it made only a "relatively modest contribution." But the rise last month and this month gives Hall "comfort," because "it means that despite a brisk start to the year there exists the potential for significant gains still to come."

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