Investor fears create golden opportunity for hedge funds

Barclays and Liberty Ermitage have each launched gold-based products to capitalise on investors' fears about future returns from equity markets and poor returns in bonds and cash.

Barclays plans to back up its latest launch with more commodity and currency products during 2003.

The Liberty Ermitage Gold & Resources Fund, launched with about $15m invests in gold and precious metal shares and in specialist funds. It takes the form of an open-ended Bermuda registered fund listed in Ireland, charging