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Managed futures gained 0.41 per cent in August, according to the Barclay CTA Index compiled by BarclayHedge.

“Investor optimism remained high in August as the rally in equity markets extended to six consecutive months,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge.

Five of Barclay’s eight managed futures indices were profitable in August. The Systematic Traders Index gained 0.77 per cent, diversified traders were up 0.76 per cent, and financial and metals traders rose 0.21 per cent.

“Commodity markets, while generally lower in August, experienced significant divergence between various sectors,” says Waksman. “Natural gas prices declined almost 25 per cent while sugar gained more than 30 per cent. And although prices for precious metals declined, base metals rallied.”

Through August, agricultural traders have gained 2.39 per cent and discretionary traders are up 1.39 per cent. But diversified traders have lost 3.82 per cent year-to-date, and systematic traders are down 3.04 per cent.

“Following a strong 14.09 percent gain by the Barclay CTA Index in 2008, its best performance in 18 years, the index has lost 0.87 percent thus far in 2009,” says Waksman.

The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which monitors performance of the largest traders, rose 0.21 per cent in August, but is still down 2.56 per cent in 2009.

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