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Commodities bubble burns big investment funds

Miami Herald – The deflating commodities bubble is claiming its first casualties as large investment funds absorb staggering losses from bad bets that prices for oil, precious metals and grains would keep going up.

Hedge fund operator Ospraie Management LLC notified investors Tuesday that it’s closing its flagship fund after it suffered losses in August on positions in energy, mining and other natural resource-related stocks that left the fund down nearly 40 percent year-to-date. It’s believed to be the first hedge fund to go bust in this latest commodities boom as prices come crashing down after a historic bull-run earlier this year.

And the bloodletting may have only begun. Wall Street analysts say similar trouble looms for other funds that got caught up in the exuberance of the boom but were too late in getting out.

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