Barclay's Hedge Fund Indices Enjoy Uptrend In Oct.

Nov 26 2007 | 12:19pm ET

Hedge funds and managed futures funds enjoyed a profitable October, according to estimates from the Barclay Trading Group. Hedge funds were up 2.9% in October, adding to their 2.51% gain in September while managed futures rose 1.69% last month.

The moves have sent the Barclay Hedge Fund Index up 12.02% year to date.

Seventeen of Barclay’s 18 hedge fund indexes gained ground in October. The Emerging Markets Index soared 5.16% during the month, and continues to lead all hedge fund strategies in 2007 with a 25.01% YTD gain.

“With the exception of Hungary, all emerging market equity indices saw increases during October, and many of those increases were quite large,” said Sol Waksman, founder and president of The Barclay Group. “Equity markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China all registered double digit gains in October.”

Barclay’s sector-specific indices experienced solid gains: The firm’s Technology Index jumped 5.04% and the Healthcare and Biotechnology Index rose 3.83%. Also, global macro funds gained 3.67%, equity long bias was up 3.29%, and the Multi-Strategy Index gained 3.08%.

The only losing strategy in October was short selling, which dropped 0.60%. “A strong equity market presents serious challenges for short-sellers,” said Waksman.

Meanwhile, the Barclay Fund of Funds Index was up 2.87 % in October, and has gained 10.19% in 2007.

CTAs Ride High

All eight of Barclay’s CTA indexes were also profitable in October, led by the Diversified Traders Index, which gained 2.4%, followed by systematic traders (+2.17%) and agricultural traders (+2.10%).

“October profits were powered by a continuation of September’s uptrend in energy prices and downtrend in the U.S. Dollar,” said Waksman. “Higher prices in the energy complex reflected increased tension as Turkey massed troops on the Iraqi border, coupled with lower than expected supplies of crude oil and refined products. The Canadian dollar, viewed by many market participants as an energy/commodity currency, reached a new 130-year high against the U.S. Dollar.”

The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which monitors performance of the largest traders, added 2.19% in October, following a 2.66% gain in September.

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