The Morning Brief: Managed Futures Funds Weather Turbulence in April

Managed futures funds continue to hold their own in an otherwise volatile year for the financial markets. They were, on average, essentially flat in April, according to the Barclay CTA Index. For the first four months of the year, they are up 0.95 percent. “Improvement in the financial outlook for the U.S., Europe, and China while central banks sat on their hands sparked a trend reversal in the bond markets,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge, in a press release. “The unexpected rise in interest rates created serious headwinds for trend-following CTAs.”

Barclays points out that six of eight CTA indices lost money last month. Of the profitable strategies, currency traders were up 1.14 percent, while the diversified traders index climbed a slight 0.07 percent. “Profits gained from U.S. dollar weakness against the Japanese yen and commodity related currencies served to reduce losses in other portfolio sectors, and thrust currency traders to their best performance since November 2015,” adds Waksman. For the year through April, currency traders are up 3.05 percent, the financial/metals traders index is up 2 percent, systematic traders are up 1.91 percent and diversified traders have gained 1.63 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, the agricultural traders index is down 1.71 percent for the year.

Among specific CTA funds:

Man Group’s MAN AHL Diversified was down 0.34 percent for the year through April.

BlueCrest Capital Management’s Bluetrend Fund was up 0.08 percent through April.

Cantab Capital Partners’ CCP Quantitative Fund-Aristarchus was up 1.61 percent.

ISAM’s ISAM Systematic Trend Fund fell 3.71 percent

QMS Capital Management’s QMS Diversified Global Macro lost 0.59 percent

Tewksbury Capital Management’s Tewksbury Investment Fund added 10 percent

Two Sigma’s Two Sigma Compass returned 6.89 percent

Winton Capital Management’s Winton Futures Fund, down 2.20 percent


Steven Schonfeld, who has been trading for his own account for decades, has put up about $100 million to back a new hedge fund firm, according to Reuters. His firm, Schonfeld Strategic Advisors, is teaming up with San Francisco-based Lucha Capital Management, headed by Marcelo Desio. The new fund, which is expected to launch over the summer, plans to focus on U.S. technology, media, telecommunication and business service companies. Schonfeld reportedly committed to investing for at least three years.


Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Wednesday fell 4.20 percent, to close at $27.86, ending its three-day profitable streak that had sent the stock up around 16 percent.