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Barclay CTA Index up 0.98 per cent in July

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Strong uptrends in equities, bonds, the US Dollar and gold helped push managed futures funds to another profitable month. CTA funds posted a 0.98 per cent return in July, according to the Barclay CTA Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions.

For the year-to-date, CTA funds finished July up 5.24 per cent.

“US-China trade war concerns coupled with the very real possibility of a no-deal Brexit and expectations of Fed loosening set the stage for big moves in equity, fixed income, currency and precious metals markets,” says Sol Waksman (pictured), president of BarclayHedge. “Momentum traders reaped the rewards as uptrends in the four major market sectors provided profitable trading opportunities.”

All CTA sectors but three were positive for July, led by the MPI Elite Systematic Traders Index which was up 3.67 per cent on the month. The Systematic Traders Index gained 1.42 per cent in July while the Diversified Traders Index posted a 1.36 per cent monthly return and the Financial/Metals Traders Index was up 1.25 per cent.

July wasn’t as kind to cryptocurrencies, with the Cryptocurrency Traders Index off 10.90 per cent for the month. Also losing ground in July were the Discretionary Traders Index, down 0.17 per cent, and the Agricultural Traders Index, dropping 0.12 per cent.

“The rains came on time in July and agricultural markets sold off as yield expectations recovered from more pessimistic levels,” says Waksman.

For the year-to-date, all CTA sectors are in the black. While the Cryptocurrency Traders Index had a tough July, it remains the year-to-date sector leader with a 53.42 per cent return. The MPI Barclay Elite Systematic Traders Index is up 9.48 per cent for the year-to-date through 31 July, the Systematic Traders Index returned 5.35 per cent, the Diversified Traders Index gained 5.41 per cent and the Financial/Metals Traders Index is up 5.01 per cent.

The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which tracks the performance of the largest CTAs that are still open for new investment, gained 8.37 per cent year-to-date through the end of July.

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