Hartford Launches New Commodities ETF as Raw Materials Soar

·1 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Hartford Funds is launching its first commodity-focused, exchange-traded fund as prices soar for everything from natural gas and copper to aluminum and sugar.

Hartford Schroders Commodity Strategy ETF will invest in a wide range of energy, metals and crop futures and swaps, as well as commodity-related equities and treasury bills, the asset manager said Wednesday. A unit of Schroders Plc will act as sub-adviser. Hartford Funds, the firm responsible for the launch, is a subsidiary of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

The global rebound from last year’s pandemic-driven economic slump is sending prices for food, manufacturing raw materials and energy near unprecedented levels. Supply constraints and bottlenecks are making it difficult for producers to keep up with demand.

The launch of Hartford’s fund comes as commodity ETFs have seen some outflows in the past months. After pouring in a net $41.8 billion last year, investors have pulled out $4.1 billion so far this year from commodity ETFs, according to data from Bloomberg Intelligence.

But the broad scope of Hartford’s ETF, and investors’ need to hedge for inflation, should ensure the fund will be a useful instrument for its clients, according to Tom McConnell, the firm’s head of product innovation and implementation.

“We still think that investors are in the early days of addressing inflation, and the conversation really hasn’t been going on that long,” he said.

At least five other commodity-focused ETFs have been launched this year, taking advantage of the rally.

(Updates to mention company subsidiary launching the fund in the first paragraph)

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