Managed futures gained 1.11 per cent in April, according to the Barclay CTA Index compiled by BarclayHedge.
The index is up 2.11 per cent year to date.
“Rising prices for equities and debt securities were fuelled by central bank easing, and coupled with falling commodity prices driven by weak economic data out of China, served as the backdrop for CTA performance in April,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge.
Overall performance was mixed in April, with five of Barclay’s eight CTA indices making gains, while three indices lost ground. The Financial & Metal Traders Index gained 1.47 per cent, Systematic Traders were up 1.21 per cent, and Diversified Traders gained 1.20 per cent.
“Portfolios with exposure to a preponderance of the major futures sectors were in the best position to profit from the trading opportunities available in April,” says Waksman.
On the losing side, Currency Traders gave up 0.50 per cent, Agricultural Traders lost 0.26 per cent, and Discretionary Traders were down 0.22 per cent.
“Discretionary traders usually underperform their systematic brethren during trending markets,” says Waksman. “Trends can oftentimes persist longer than justified by the underlying market fundamentals."
Year to date, Systematic Traders have gained 2.46 per cent, Diversified Traders are up 2.37 per cent, Financial & Metal Traders added 2.28 per cent, and Currency Traders have gained 1.06 per cent.
The only losing strategy after four months is the Agricultural Traders Index, which is down 0.13 per cent.
The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which measures performance of the largest CTAs, gained 1.58 per cent in April.