Winners, Losers In Volatile Commodities Market

Aug 13 2008 | 1:01am ET

The declining commodities markets took hedge funds on another roller coaster ride in July.

Among the winners in the $70 billion commodity hedge fund market last month were Peak Ridge Capital Group’s Commodity Volatility Fund—advised by notorious erstwhile Amaranth Advisors natural gas trader Brian Hunter—which added another 24%, brining it’s year-to-date return to 230%, according to Bloomberg News. Galtere International’s Commodity-Based Global Macro Fund gained just under 1% last month to bring it’s year-to-date to about 18%.

Commodity prices fell some 10% in July—19% since they peaked on July 3—according to the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index. Last month’s was the biggest monthly decline in more than 27 years.

Other hedge funds that had lost ground for much of the year turned things around somewhat in July. New York’s Touradji Capital Management rose 6.5% on the month, more than halving its year-to-date loss to 5%. Houston-based Saracen Energy Partners returned 3% last month, but is still down about 29% on the year.

Some funds that had done well in the first half suffered a rude start to their second halves. BlueGold Capital Management, the seven-month-old London fund that has enjoyed triple-digit returns this year, lost about 19% last month, according to Bloomberg. The $800 million fund remains up 109% year-to-date. Also in London, $2.5 billion Clive Capital fell 8% in July, cutting it’s year-to-date return to 25%, and Armajaro Asset Management dipped 7%, leaving it up about 12.5%.

Ospraie Management’s flagship was also a loser last month, falling 13%. It is now down 15% on the year. Aisling Analytic’s $2.3 billion Merchant Commodity Fund shed 11% last month, slashing it’s year-to-date return to just 1.2%. New York giant Fortress Investment Group’s $1 billion Drawbridge Commodities Fund lost about 3% in July, cutting its return to 5.7% this year.


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