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Managed futures build momentum as Barclay CTA Index rises 1.94 per cent in June

Managed futures continue to perform strongly in 2008, gaining 1.89 per cent in June and posting an average return of 8.88 per cent for the first half of the year, according to the Barclay CTA Index compiled by Fairfield, Iowa-based index provider BarclayHedge.

"The same trends responsible for increasing bearish sentiment in the financial markets have in many cases opened the door to profits for momentum-based futures traders," says BarclayHedge founder and president Sol Waksman. "Traders have found opportunities in declining stock prices, rising inflation, US dollar weakness and higher commodity prices."

All of Barclay's eight managed futures indices had positive returns in June. The Barclay Agricultural Traders Index jumped 4.58 per cent, Diversified Traders gained 3.46 per cent, and Systemic Traders were up 2.10 per cent.

"Heavy rains and flooding have reduced crop yields in the US, driving prices higher and giving a boost to CTAs trading the agricultural markets," Waksman says.

Barclay's Diversified Traders Index has gained 15.85 per cent over the first six months of 2008. "Diversified traders have been able to benefit from a confluence of sustained trends in several of the major market sectors," says Waksman.

"Traders usually don't have these many profitable opportunities occurring simultaneously. Consequently, we are seeing in increase in fund launches in the commodity sector."

The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which monitors performance of the largest traders, rose by 2.10 per cent in June and is up 8.34 per cent for the first six months of the year.

Founded as the Barclay Group in 1985, BarclayHedge tracks more than 6,800 hedge funds, funds of hedge funds and managed futures programmes and maintains 18 proprietary hedge fund and eight managed futures indices, providing data to clients including institutional investors, brokerage firms and private banks.

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