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[OIL IMPACT] Commodity funds generate poor returns as oil prices plummet

[THE INVESTOR] As oil prices plunged by more than a fifth in less than two months, returns on natural resources funds have turned negative, wiping out profits they made earlier this year.

Some 50 fund products incorporated in South Korea, investing in commodities and stocks of natural resource-related companies, saw their average rate of returns sinking to minus 2.11 percent in the past one month, according to local financial data provider FnGuide.

The commodity funds showed positive performance over the first six months of this year, with average returns of 19.95 percent after posting record-low results in 2015 due to free fall in oil prices. But they have dived back down to retract all the gains.

Samsung WTI Crude Oil Special Asset Investment Trust, launched by Samsung Asset Management, showed the weakest return of minus 15.24 percent during the recent month, according to FnGuide.

On Aug. 3, oil edged higher in Asia after industry data showed a decline in US crude inventories, but continued to stay below US$40 per barrel. The day before, WTI for September delivery traded at US$39.51 per barrel. This was the first time prices fell below the $40 dollar mark since April. Since June, oil prices lost over 20 percent.

By Park Han-na (
Korea Herald Youtube