NAB Launches 2019 Superannuation FX Hedging Survey

National Australia Bank (NAB) has launched its biennial 2019 Superannuation FX hedging survey, the ninth such survey that seeks to provide detailed analysis of how Australian super funds manage their currency exposures. Australia has the fourth biggest superannuation pool in the world, as at December 2018 assets stood at AUD 2.7 trillion, of which around AUD 1.8 trillion is institutional money, with the balance being in private self-managed funds. The bank says this is the only survey of its kind in Australia thanks to the level of detail it goes into around how asset owners are managing their currency risk.
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Elwood Offers a New Way to Invest in Digital Assets

Galen Stops takes a look at the new launch from Elwood Asset Management that is targeting institutional investors wanting exposure to digital assets – without holding cryptocurrencies.London-based Elwood Asset Management, which is backed by Brevan Howard co-founder, Alan Howard, has partnered with Invesco to launch its first product aimed at investors looking for exposure to digital assets, the Invesco Elwood Global Blockchain UCITS ETF.The central problem identified by staff at Elwood prior to this launch is that currently there is a distinct lack of ways for institutional investors to gain exposure to digital assets. Right now, these firms can either buy cryptocurrencies – such as bitcoin – or invest in a venture capital fund, both of which can be problematic for institutional investors given the liquidity and regulatory issues surrounding cryptocurrencies and the limitations dictated by firms’ investment mandates
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BarclayHedge Confirms Positive February for CTAs

Data from BarclayHedge confirms previous Profit & Loss reporting that CTAs saw overall positive results in February, with the BarclayHedge CTA Index showing a 0.32% return last month.Five of eight of the CTA sectors tracked in the Barclay CTA indices were in positive territory for February, though the agriculture and currency sectors were a drag on performance.“CTA funds got in step with equity markets in February, and those able to sit out a week-long energy reversal at the beginning of the month were rewarded by month-end,” says Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge.
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Hedge Fund Performance Improves – But is it Enough?

Will improved performance from hedge funds in early 2019 help shift the perspectives of prospective allocators to these funds?At the end of last year investors were seemingly nervous about stock market volatility, global economic uncertainty and major commodity price downturns - with hedge fund redemptions reaching $42.3 billion in December, according to data from BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. This was the largest monthly outflow in five years and represented the fourth straight month of net redemptions.This data comes from the Barclay Fund Flow Indicator, published by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions, and shows that this was the largest monthly outflow in at least five years, and a fourth consecutive month of straight redemptions. In total, hedge fund outflows in 2018 stood at $89.2 billion, or 3.1% of total industry assets.
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CTAs See Performance Improve in February

The SG CTA Index was up by 0.42%, whilst the SG Trend Index was up by 0.81%. Short term strategies struggled and underperformed other strategies, with the SG STTI down by 1.19% for the month. The SG Trend Indicator attributed February's positive results to gains in currencies and a selection of commodity markets, as well as trends in interest rate markets. Long positions in bond markets reverted slightly, leading to small losses, whilst positions in equity markets began to adapt to the renewed upward trend. "We've seen an uptick of performance in February, and we maintain the benefits CTA strategies can have in diversified portfolios. It will be interesting to observe if CTAs can continue this upward trend as we look towards March and the rest of the year," says Tom Wrobel, director of alternative investments consulting at Societe Generale Prime Services.
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CTAs Stumble Out of the Gate in 2019

Managed futures stumbled out of the gate to start 2019, as the Barclay CTA Index, compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions, was down 0.43% for January .All but two of the BarclayHedge’s managed futures indices were in negative territory for January, as CTA funds were generally unable to build on their modest gains of the final two months of 2018.“After precipitous price declines in December, most CTAs found themselves on the wrong side of the street in January as energy and equity prices unexpectedly rose from the ashes of the previous month and rebounded sharply,” says Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge.
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Prime Factor Launches Cryptocurrency Fund

Prime Factor Capital (PFC), a cryptoasset investment firm headquartered in London, has launched a cryptocurrency fund.The fund caters to professional and institutional investors such as sophisticated high net-worth individuals, family offices, and private wealth managers, who the firm says are seeking a regulated solution managed by experienced professionals to access the crypto asset class.PFC also announced that it has closed an equity financing round, raising €500,000 for the firm at a valuation of approximately €6 million with Speedinvest, a European fintech investor, and participation from talent investor Entrepreneur First.
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Currency Traders Dragged Down January CTA Performance

Following an initial positive run in the first few days of the year, all CTAs in the Societe Generale (SG) Indices were in negative territory by the end of January. The SG Trend Index was down 3.25% and the SG Short-Term Traders Index was down 1.71%. The SG CTA Index returned -1.99% despite being helped slightly by three non-trend following managers' positive performances during the month.The SG Trend Indicator attributed losses to equity markets and currencies. They were positioned short in risk assets, hence equity markets' reversal and gains in one of their best Januarys ever, contributed to losses of 3.91% at the portfolio level.
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New Report Makes Tough Reading for CTAs

A new report from RCM Alternatives highlights the struggles of Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) in 2018.The report, Managed Futures/Global Macro 2018 Strategy Review, notes that last year was generally a disappointing one for managed futures and global macro across most strategy groups. This is perhaps surprising, given that there were significant sell-offs in the equities markets in 2018, which is when the diversification benefits of having CTAs in the portfolio is supposed to be felt. As the report explains: “With equities getting hit hard, this was a prime opportunity for CTAs, managed futures and macro to come off the mat and show investors the power of diversification. Instead, the lesson was that sometimes non-correlation does not equal negative correlation, especially in the short term.”
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Survey: FX Traders Cite Liquidity as Top Daily Concern

The availability of liquidity is the biggest daily issue facing FX traders right now, according to a new survey by JP Morgan.The survey results come from 200 of JP Morgan’s largest Institutional clients, with the majority being FX traders and the rest being rates and commodities traders.In total, 40% of survey respondents cited liquidity availability as the biggest day-to-day issue facing traders in 2019, with 25% instead pointing to efficiency of process, 18% to best execution requirements and 17% to price transparency
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