Astenbeck Suffers Worst-Ever Year

Feb 7 2014 | 2:24pm ET

There was no second great escape for Andrew Hall's Astenbeck Capital Management last year—only a second losing year in three.

The $3.5 billion oil hedge fund dropped 8.3% last year. It is only Astenbeck's second annual loss since its debut in 2007, after Hall left Citigroup and set the firm up with Occidental Petroleum Corp., and its largest-ever.

Astenbeck lost 3.8% in 2011, Hall's first annual loss in 14 years. The firm looked likely to be in the red again last year, but managed to rally in 2012's final months to return 3.4%.

Astenbeck's 2013 losses extended into the new year, with the fund falling 2.1% last month, according to Bloomberg News.

Of course, Astenbeck was not alone among commodity hedge funds suffering in 2013. Volatility in the sector is low, and oil volatility especially so, hitting a 17-year low last year. Several high-profile commodity shops closed their doors in 2013.

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