May 9, 2011 / 7:05 PM / 9 years ago

Exclusive: Oil trader Hall's fund dives 12 percent in May

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The flagship commodity fund run by top Phibro trader Andrew Hall suffered a 12 percent fall last week as oil prices tumbled, a fund investor said on Monday, demonstrating how the plunge walloped some of the market’s most experienced traders.

The Astenbeck II fund, which was worth an estimated $2.6 billion in late April, took the hit as oil prices plummeted and commodities saw the biggest price drop in 2-1/2 years last week.

Last week’s losses would have come to just over $300 million, based on those figures, and likely wiped out the year’s 10 percent gains through March.

Hall, who made headlines for a giant $100 million bonus while at Citigroup (C.N), now serves as the head trader of Phibro, a unit of Occidental Petroleum (OXY.N) since 2009. He is well-known as an oil bull who often takes large directional bets on the price.

The fund, part of Hall’s Astenbeck Capital Management, made returns of 12 percent last year, one investor said.

“All the big funds have been hit fairly hard (last week),” said the investor, “Astenbeck is down 12 percent.”

Connecticut-based Astenbeck declined comment.

Reporting by Barani Krishnan and Joshua Schneyer; Editing by Alden Bentley

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