Managed futures gained 0.52 per cent in December, according to the Barclay CTA Index compiled by BarclayHedge.
The index ended the year with a loss of 1.42 per cent.
The Barclay CTA Index was down 3.14 per cent at the end of September. Managed futures performance turned around beginning in October, gaining 1.72 per cent in the last three months of the year.
“Aided by the positive fundamentals driving the on-going recovery of G-7 equity markets, the volatility of rapid risk-on/risk-off transitions diminished in the fourth quarter,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge. “CTAs have been profitable for the past three months, and the improvement in the trading environment was a welcome factor."
Six of the eight Barclay CTA indices enjoyed positive returns in December. The Diversified Traders Index was up 0.58 per cent, Systematic Traders gained 0.48 per cent, Financial & Metals Traders were up 0.41 per cent, and Discretionary Traders added 0.29 per cent.
The Agricultural Traders Index lost 0.15 per cent in December, and Currency Traders were down 0.09 per cent.
“In December, long fixed income positions contributed to losses while long positions in G-7 equity markets and short positions in selected grains and precious metals were profitable,” says Waksman.
This year the largest investable trading advisor programs outperformed the managed futures industry as a whole. The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which measures performance of the largest CTAs, gained 0.79 per cent in December. The BTOP50 was up 0.72 per cent in 2013, in contrast to the 1.42 per cent loss for the Barclay CTA Index.
The Agricultural Traders Index was the strongest performer in 2013, gaining 2.89 per cent for the year. Currency Traders were up 0.94 per cent, and Financial & Metals Traders gained 0.41 per cent.
The Diversified Traders Index lost 2.86 per cent in 2013, Systematic Traders were down 1.13 per cent, and Discretionary Traders slipped 0.10 per cent.