Top Firm Said To Have Sustained Significant Losses On Metal Trades

Some London Metal Exchange participants are apparently bandying around a figure of up to $500m.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Barclays Capital is thought to have sustained losses in the 'tens of millions', after traders made what turned out to be bad bets that copper prices would rise. The majority of the losses are thought to have come in forward copper spreads. Over the last year copper has fallen from a high of $10,179 a tonne to $7,440 on fears that China's economy is under pressure.

A Barclays spokesperson has said, however, that 'the reports of big losses are nonsense', although two senior traders are said to have now left the firm, and LME sources have said that BarCap had been 'bleeding money' for months. There is no suggestion of unauthorised trading or any wrongdoing of any kind.

The Wall Street Journal reports that BarCap, which is also said to have incurred losses on nickel trades earlier this year, is thought to have been unwinding a number trading positions this week.

In the meantime, Dow Jones reports that, according to its sources, John Paulson's Advantage Plus Fund is some 52% down for the year through mid-December, with his Advantage Fund down 36%.

On the plus side, Reuters reports that ex-Lehman trader Yashwant Bajaj's Juggernaut Asia Fund is up 45% since its 1st August launch, on going long on tech stocks, and shorting the likes of Olympus Corp.

Finally, Prospect Heights Patch reports that hedge fund manager Darren Weingrow has stepped up to the plate and offered to pay for the funeral of 73-year-old Delores Gillespie, who was set on fire and killed in an elevator at her apartment building in Brooklyn earlier this month.

Weingrow, who didn't know Ms Gillespie or her family, said: 'I'm not a philanthropist, I'm an investment guy. But it was devastating'. What a stand up chap!


image: © Dave Parker

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