Big Funds Turn Bullish on Oil; Hall Bets on Rally H2 Onwards (Reuters)
Big money investors are calling a bottom in oil prices, U.S. government data showed on Friday, with hedge fund heavyweight Andy Hall predicting “much stronger prices” from the second half onwards. The data affirmed a growing notion that some of the biggest investors have started betting on a rebound after a seven-month price rout that subsided in January – something Hall asserted in this month’s letter to investors in his hedge fund. “The seasonal pickup in H2 demand should mean much stronger prices down the road,” Hall, who manages the $3 billion Astenbeck Capital Management in Westport, Connecticut, said in the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters on Friday.
Protesters Disrupt Hedge Fund Conference in Midtown Manhattan (Reuters)
Roughly 400 hedge fund managers, investors, lawyers and journalists got something that was not on the lunchtime menu at an industry conference on Monday when roughly two dozen protesters interrupted the meal, shouting out prominent names of attendees and demanding better wages at fast-food restaurants. An unidentified person with the group, which represents the Restaurant Opportunity Center, said they came to protest because speakers at the conference, including Bill Ackman and Jeff Smith, say they want to create value for shareholders even though workers at the companies are still underpaid.
Paul Singer’s Hedge Fund Takes A Dip (New York Post)
Hedge fund mogul Paul Singer started off 2015 with a rare miss — the first quarter in almost three years that one of his hedge funds has been down and one of only 12 in his stellar 38-year run. Singer’s Elliott International hedge fund fell half a percentage point in the first three months. While Singer has made headlines for his decade long battle with Argentina over defaulted debt, investors in his $25 billion firm, Elliott Management, know him best for stable returns. And the loss, however small, undercuts one of his chief selling points.
Coffee Goes From First to Worst as Hedge Funds Hold Short Bets (Bloomberg)
Coffee, last year’s best-performing commodity, is now among the worst thanks to the return of rains in parched growing areas of Brazil. Showers in February and March brightened the outlook for crops that will start being collected in May. With more coffee on the way, exporters are now shipping more from inventories to make room. Hedge funds have bet on lower prices for six weeks, the longest stretch in more than a year. Bull-to-bear market gyrations spurred by changing weather in Brazil, the top producer and exporter, made coffee the most volatile commodity in the past year. Prices surged 50 percent in 2014 amid a drought.