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Managed Futures Ring in the New Year with Tepid Gains

Crestfallen No More? Cryptocurrency Traders Index Kicks Open 2023 with a 19.60% Return


Managed futures funds began 2023 with a narrow gain, up 0.06% for January, according to the Barclay CTA Index, compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions.

Most managed futures subsectors were able to eke out modest wins during the first month of 2023. They were led by the Currency Traders Index which reported a gain of +0.46%, followed closely by the Financial/Metal Traders Index, up +0.35%. The Discretionary Traders Index booked a respectable +0.19% and the Systematic Traders Index got its toes into positive territory with a 3-basis point gain.

Subsectors losing ground in January included the Agricultural Traders Index down -0.42% and the Diversified Traders Index which fell short of a break-even month by 8 basis points.

The BarclayHedge Cryptocurrency Traders Index, which suffered an aggregate loss of -48.20% in 2022, executed an abrupt about-face to start 2023, booking a return of 19.60%-- its strongest monthly result since October of 2021.

“After significantly outrunning other asset classes in 2022, managed futures flagged during the first month of 2023. While many other risk-assets surged, the managed futures industry struggled to break even,” reflected Ben Crawford, Head of Research at Backstop BarclayHedge. “That said, there were pockets of the industry that found ways to profit. The Currency Traders Index in 2022 had its best year since 2003 and it seems to have carried its winning ways into 2023. Financials & Metal Traders also found opportunities to make a buck in January. Perhaps most dramatically, the Cryptocurrency Traders Index had its best result in the last 15 months, triggering waves of commentary and speculation as to whether the Crypto-Winter might finally be starting to thaw.”

The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which tracks the performance of the largest CTAs open for new investment, was down three basis points in January.

For a complete table of Barclay CTA Index results as well as historical data, click here.


About Backstop BarclayHedge

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Malea Lydon

BackBay Communications