CTAs Gain Ground In May

Jun 20 2008 | 2:00am ET

Managed futures turned positive again in May, gaining 1.37% after losing 0.27% in April, according to the Barclay CTA Index compiled by BarclayHedge. 

All eight BarclayHedge managed futures indices were positive in May. The Diversified Traders Index was up 1.73%, and has returned an impressive 13.53% in the first five months of 2008.
“Both rising and falling commodity prices helped propel CTAs to another profitable month,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge. “Prices for crude oil and gasoline continued an uninterrupted uptrend, and most traders held onto their profitable long positions.”

In addition to taking advantage of favorable commodity markets, CTAs trading diversified portfolios were able to profit from a steepening yield curve in the U.S., rising stock prices in North American markets, and a strengthening of the Australian dollar, according to Waksman.
The Barclay Systematic Traders Index gained 1.28% in May, financial and metals traders rose 0.91%, discretionary traders were up 0.83%, and agricultural traders gained 0.65%.

“Wheat prices continued to fall due to a favorable harvest outlook, while soybean prices rose reflecting the negative expectations for this year’s crop,” said Waksman.

The Barclay CTA Index has risen 7.93% in the first five months of 2008, exceeding its 7.64% gain for all of 2007. The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which monitors performance of the largest traders, rose 1.29%, and is up 5.66% through the end of May.

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