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Commodity Assets Rise to Record in 2010, Barclays Says

Commodity assets under management rose to a record $376 billion last year, boosted by demand from institutional investors, Barclays Capital said.

New investments in December were $10.9 billion, the highest since February 2009, analysts Suki Cooper, Roxana Mohammadian Molina, Kevin Norrish and Amrita Sen said today in a report. Inflows for the year reached $62 billion, Barclays said.

“The return of the institutional investor, massive inflows into precious metals led by the desire to hedge against financial market risk, and the gradual shift towards active management of commodity strategies were among the key stories of the year,” the analysts said. “We expect another strong year for investments in 2011.”

Commodity-index swaps received more than half of the total inflows in 2010, followed by exchange-traded products and medium-term notes, Barclays said. Precious metals received the “bulk” of inflows, attracting $23.6 billion, the bank said.

The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials rose 17 percent last year, the second straight annual gain. Cotton, silver and coffee led the advances.

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