Barclay CTA Index up again in April

As the economic toll of the novel coronavirus mounted, managed futures posted another positive month in April gaining 0.12 per cen,t according to the Barclay CTA Index, compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. 

Year-to-date, CTAs gained 1.43 per cent through the end of April.

“Equity markets rallied in response to massive US government economic stimulus, pushing the S&P 500 Total Return Index to gain 12.82 per cent in April,” says Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. “Many CTAs held their profitable short equity positions from March into April only to see those profits turn to losses. Fortunately, downtrends in energy and agricultural markets coupled with uptrends in precious metals proved to be profitable and help put April onto the plus side of the ledger.”

Most Barclay CTA Index subsectors were in the black in April led by the Cryptocurrency Traders Index which gained 17.26 per cent. The Discretionary Traders Index was up 1.19 per cent for the month, the Agricultural Traders Index returned 0.97 per cent, the MPI Barclay Elite Systematic Traders Index rose 0.23 per cent and the Financial & Metals Traders Index was up 0.08 per cent.

Sectors in the red in April included the Currency Traders Index, down 0.81 per cent, the Diversified Traders Index, losing 0.13 per cent, and the Systematic Traders Index, off 0.10 per cent.

All sectors but two were in the black year-to-date through April, the exceptions being the MPI Barclay Elite Systematic Traders Index, which was off 3.83 per cent, and the Financial & Metals Traders Index, which was down 0.09 per cent.

Among the year-to-date gainers were the Cryptocurrency Traders Index, up 23.51 per cent, the Currency Traders Index, gaining 5.12 per cent, the Agricultural Traders Index, returning 2.99 per cent, and the Systematic Traders Index, up 2.92 per cent.

The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which tracks the performance of the largest CTAs that are still open for new investment, was up 0.30 per cent in April but down 1.83 per cent year-to-date through the end of the month.