Managed futures hedge funds end July in positive territory, BarclayHedge CTA data shows

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Arrows heading upwards

Managed futures hedge funds ended July in positive territory, with cryptocurrency-based strategies fuelling the rise, new data published by BarclayHedge shows. 

The Barclay CTA Index, which tracks the performance of more than 400 commodity trading advisors and managed futures hedge funds, added 0.37 per cent last month, and has now advanced some 4.91 per cent in the seven-month period since the start of 2021.

All trend-following sub-sectors ended July in the black, with Ben Crawford, head of research at BarclayHedge, observing how the managed futures industry withstood rising uncertainty “admirably” during a bumpy July.

“Despite concerns over the Covid-19 Delta variant and its accelerating rate of community transmission, global economies largely continued to produce positive signals and CTA funds kept pace,” Crawford said.

The gains were propelled by the sharp rebound in digital assets, which saw the Cryptocurrency Traders Index lead the CTA pack, scoring a 5.16 per cent gain in July and comfortably outflanking every other CTA sub-sector’s monthly returns.

The rise has pushed the benchmark – a measure of the average return of all cryptocurrency programmes in BarclayHedge’s database – to more than 84 per cent on a year-to-date basis.

Elsewhere, the MPI Barclays Elite Systematic Traders Index – which tracks the average returns of the 20 largest systematic traders – added 0.74 per cent for the month, and is now up 8.51 per cent since the start of 2021.

Among the best overall sub-sectors for the year is the Diversified Traders Index, which has risen more than 7 per cent in 2021, with a 0.27 per cent July gain. The Agricultural Traders Index is up 4.99 per cent for the year following a 0.52 per cent July advance.

The Systematic Traders Index was up 0.38 per cent last month, and has now advanced 4.56 per cent in 2021, while the Discretionary Traders Index has risen 6.09 per cent for the year following a July return of 0.22 per cent.

The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which tracks the performance of the largest CTAs open for new investment, gained 1.05 per cent in July, a rise which brought the BTOP50’s year-to-date returns to 7.09 per cent.

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Hugh Leask
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