Managed Futures Slip In March, Finish Q1 Up

Apr 18 2008 | 11:18am ET

Managed futures lost 0.36% in March but remain up 7.09% for the quarter, according to the Barclay CTA Index.

Nearly 57% of commodity trading advisors on the Barclay platform were profitable last month, according to Sol Waksman, BarclayHedge founder and president.

Agricultural traders lost 3.51%, while discretionary traders were down 0.91 per cent.

“The challenge that agricultural traders face is that there are limited opportunities for diversification within an agricultural portfolio,” said Waksman. “Although most grains have been in a sustained uptrend for the past 18 months, agricultural traders can still be hurt when prices across the sector drop suddenly.”

Although diversified traders lost 0.99% in March, the sector index returned 13.92% for the first three months of 2008. Barclay's Currency Traders Index gained 0.56% in March, and financial/metals traders rose 0.23%.

”Continued divergence between interest rates in the U.S. and Europe has created profitable trading opportunities in the financial markets,” said Waksman. “This interest rate divergence has also helped to drive the US dollar down, marking new lows against both the euro and the yen, and providing currency traders with opportunities to profit.”

The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which monitors the performance of the largest traders, slipped 0.52% in March, but is still up 4.96% for the quarter.

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