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Despite July's slippage, CTAs remain in positive territory for the year, up 7.68%

Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Opalesque Industry Update - The managed futures industry slipped to a monthly loss in July 2022, down -0.64% according to the Barclay CTA Index, compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions.

Despite July's slippage, CTAs remain in positive territory for the year, up 7.68%. CTAs had posted gains in six of the prior seven months.

"The interplay of macroeconomic news and July's markets was indeed curious," reflected Ben Crawford, Head of Research at BarclayHedge. "Most of the news was frankly gloomy. Inflation trends looked completely unbowed by tightening monetary policies and most projections of economic growth turned down sharply. The IMF revised its global growth projection downward again for 2022, announcing that it expected 3.2% growth, an atrophy of -2.9% year-over-year. Somewhat unexpectedly, global equity markets soared but most commodity prices sagged as traders factored in the probabilities of sagging demand. Mixed signals and surprises made for a challenging trading environment for managed futures funds and CTAs."

Most but not all CTA subsectors were in the red for July. The Currency Traders Index picked up +33 basis points and the Discretionary Traders Index came in just above neutral with a 0.04% result. Following a second quarter of heavy losses the Cryptocurrency Traders Index regained some of its mojo in July, bouncing back 22.92%.

Subsectors posting monthly losses were led by the MPI Barclay Elite Systematic Traders Index which shed -2.30% in July. Behind it the Diversified Traders Index fell -1.13%; the Agricultural Traders Index lost -0.98%; the Systematic Traders Index retreated -0.90%; and the Financial & Metal Traders Index gave up -0.40%.

With the exception of the Cryptocurrency Traders Index, all CTA subsectors have reaped year-to-date gains through July. Chief among them has been the MPI Barclay Elite Systematic Traders Index, which has returned 14.31% so far in 2022. The Diversified Traders Index has also enjoyed mostly robust performance this year and is up 11.32%. Both the Discretionary Traders Index and the Systematic Traders Index have fared well, returning 9.11% and 8.49% respectively. The sometimes-sleepy Currency Traders Index is up 6.07% thus far and on a pace to have a record year.

The Cryptocurrency Traders Index still sits in a fairly deep hole for the year-to-date interval, despite its burst of performance in July. It remains -29.48% in the red for 2022.

The Barclay BTOP50 Index, which tracks the performance of the largest CTAs open for new investment, was down -3.13% in July. For the year to date the BTOP50 has returned 12.24%.

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