Astenbeck Adds 3% In August To Get Back In The Black

Sep 6 2013 | 4:09am ET

Astenbeck Capital Management pulled itself out of the red last month as it seeks to avoid its second losing year in three.

The Westport, Conn.-based firm, headed by former Citigroup star trader Andrew Hall, rose about 3% in August, Reuters reports. The gain brings Astenbeck's year-to-date return to about 2%.

Astenbeck is used to volatility—it ended last year up 3.4% after being down 10% in August. Astenbeck has suffered only one losing year, 2011, when it fell 3.8%.

Hall told clients that the firm is heavily invested in oil. "We continue to favor owning relatively short-term time spreads—primarily Brent—to participate in any price spike, but limit the downside risk." Hall, normally an oil bull, was cautious in his assessment of the market.

"Oil prices have become extremely backwardated in response to these tight fundamentals," he wrote.

"Owning nearby oil is a high risk (but potentially high reward) proposition at the moment."

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