Tag: managed futures

managed futures

CTAs Close Out Best Year Since 2014

Despite a slight dip in performance in December, CTAs experienced their best year since 2014, according to data from Societe Generale (SG). Following positive gains in November the SG CTA Index ended December down 0.65%. All of the SG indices closed the year in positive territory, with the SG CTA Index and the Short-Term Traders […]

Managed Futures Left Waiting for a Correction in 2020…..Still

A new report from RCM Alternatives highlights that managed futures and global macro funds are still waiting for a market correction that may or may not appear in 2020. The report, Managed Futures Outlook 2020 The Waiting Game, notes that these funds have now been waiting 10 years for the next crisis in global markets, […]

The CTA Conundrum

Amidst a period of poor performance by CTAs, speakers at Forex Network Chicago discussed how these firms should be adapting to a period of sustained low volatility. The panellists all agreed that a large part of the reason why CTA returns have been so low since the financial crisis — with the exception of 2014 […]

CTAs Bounce Back in June

Commodity Trading Advisors (CTA) posted a 1.59% return in June, according to the Barclay CTA Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. This follows a difficult month in May for these funds, when the Barclay CTA Index was down 0.19%. Year-to-date, the index is now up 3.84%. “Recession fears coupled with market anticipation […]

CTAs Continue Positive Performance

Following on from an improvement in February and a strong March, April has been another positive month for CTAs, according to the latest data by Societe Generale (SG) CTA indices. The SG CTA Index was up 2.76% in April, bringing it firmly into positive territory for 2019 year–to–date, to up 4.74%. The strong performance has […]

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.”

Currencies Offer a Bright Spot for CTAs

Currency trading was one of the few bright spots for CTA performance last year, according to new data from BarclayHedge, now a division of Backstop Solutions.While the Barclay CTA Index was down 2.85% for 2018, the Currency Traders Index was up 5.1% for the year, and the Discretionary Traders Index gained 2.01%.These, however, were the only two indices to post positive returns for the year.
Indices posting losses on the year were led by the Cryptocurrency Traders Index, which was down 63.24% through December. The MPI Barclay Elite Systematic Traders Index was down 5.12% for the year, the Diversified Traders Index declined 4.71%, the Systematic Traders Index dropped 4.16%, the Fin./Met. Traders Index was down 3.20%, and the Agricultural Traders Index was down 0.27%.

November Brings More Losses for CTAs

Following a difficult October, CTAs continued to face challenges in November as the SG CTA Index was down 1.09% and the SG Trend Index was down 1.75%. Year-to-date, the SG CTA Index is down 7.18%.

However, the SG Trend Indicator outperformed the Trend Index as it was up 2.51%. This was driven by gains in commodity markets especially from short positions in the energy sector.

Apart from the uplift in commodities, trend following strategies struggled in other sectors with losses in currencies and equities. There were strong reversals against established trends in particular in Australian and New Zealand dollar. Furthermore, trends in bond markets continued to be mixed, as the new upward momentum brought the recent downward trend to an end.

CTAs Continue to Struggle

All of Societe Generale’s (SG) CTA indices were down in October and are now in negative territory year-to-date.

The SG CTA Index was down 2.79% and the SG Trend Index was down 4.29%. The short-term and quant macro strategies fared considerably better as the SG STTI Index was down marginally by 0.40%.

Continuing from September’s dip, losses were driven primarily by trend-following strategies, with losses in commodities, equities and bonds.

Commodities were a particular drag on results, with the upwards trend reversing and the oil market losing 1.58%. A number of long equity market positions also reverted, while bond markets rallied against the developing downwards trend, leading to losses in many of these markets.

Unpredictable Trend Changes Drive CTA Losses in September

The flash estimate for the Barclay CTA Index, compiled by BarclayHedge, indicates a 0.19% loss in September. However, currency trading remains the best performing sector this year.

“The US economy continues to strengthen in spite of pervasive trade war fears and continued Fed monetary tightening, while other countries have chosen to keep their rates low,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge.

He adds: “These contradictory monetary policies have created unpredictable crosscurrents and trend changes in futures prices.”

Eight of Barclay’s managed futures indices had losses in September, while only one had a gain.