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Commodities Hedge Funds

 October 14, 2011 11:59 AM

A sell of in the commodities markets has caused a number of large commodity-focused hedge funds to suffer stiff losses.  Whereas many of these hedge funds were once considered top-tier, recent losses have pushed them into the bottom of the industry performance-wise.  Among the commodities leading the sell off were gold, crude oil, copper and cocoa.
Funds like Mike Coleman's Merchant Commodity fund and Willem Kooyker's Blenheim Capital sit on hefty double-digit losses for the year after investors worried about global economic growth recently dumped gold, copper and cocoa for less-risky assets.

And Astenbeck, the $2 billion hedge fund founded by famed oil bull Andy Hall, lost around 18 percent of its value in September -- far more than last month's 11 percent drop in Brent crude, the London benchmark used now by most oil investors and traders.

The Reuters-Jefferies CRB index of 19 commodities .CRB shed 13 percent during September, a drop which has echoes of May when many star managers betting on rising prices were caught on the hop by a quick sell-off.

The size of the September hit, on top of losses suffered earlier this year, means many managers who enjoyed bumper profits from the long commodity bull run now face the likelihood of a down year. Source
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