Managers of commodity-oriented funds say investors are clamoring to cash out profits from their funds to cover losses elsewhere. Their flight may aggravate the steep drop in oil, agriculture and other commodity prices of recent months.

An index tracking a category of hedge funds known as commodity trading advisors was up 0.5% in September, according to preliminary estimates from Barclay Hedge Ltd. The fund tracker's index of broader hedge fund performance was down 4.9% in the same period. So far this year, CTAs are up 7.6% while the broader index is down 10%.

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