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Hedge funds year-to-date returns positive for first time in 2016

Hedge funds year-to-date returns positive for first time in 2016

The Preqin All-Strategies Hedge Fund has recorded the second consecutive month of positive hedge fund performance in April to bring 2016 YTD figures into the black for the first time this year.

Returns of 1.44 per cent through the month follow gains of 2.40 per cent in March to put performance for 2016 so far at 0.70 per cent, as hedge funds take advantage of calmer economic markets and improving commodity prices. 

All leading strategies returned gains through the month, with event driven strategies up 2.17 per cent and equity strategies returning 1.73 per cent, making these the two strategies with the greatest returns for a second month running. Relative value funds posted the smallest gains of 0.47 per cent and are the only leading strategy to still be recording losses (-0.05 per cent) for 2016 YTD. Credit strategies continued from the robust returns seen in March to record gains of 1.25 per cent, while multi- strategy (+0.59 per cent) and macro strategies (+1.02 per cent) funds also saw healthy performance through April. 

Emerging hedge funds saw gains of 1.78 per cent in April and are the only size classification that can boast gains (+1.49 per cent) through 2016. Large hedge funds have the worst year-to-date performance of any size classification with losses of 1.98 per cent, despite posting slight gains of 0.09 per cent in April. 

Discretionary funds outperformed systematic funds for the second consecutive month, posting gains of 1.71 per cent compared to a 0.13 per cent loss. However, so far in 2016 systematic funds have returned 0.44 per cent, while discretionary funds have posted gains of 0.16 per cent. 

Following losses of 1.10 per cent in March, CTAs recorded positive performance in April with small gains of 0.14 per cent. The fund type has reported year-to-date returns of 1.75 per cent. 

Alternative mutual funds and UCITS both made gains in April with returns of 1.19 per cent and 0.16 per cent respectively. While UCITS funds are still seeing YTD losses of 1.61 per cent, however, alternative mutual funds are posting 0.65 per cent this year following two consecutive months of substantive gains. 

“A second consecutive month of positive returns for the Preqin All-Strategies Hedge Fund benchmark in April is good news for the hedge fund sector, as the industry looks to progress from the negative returns seen at the start of 2016 and win back some investor approval,” says Amy Bensted (pictured), Head of Hedge Fund Products at Preqin, “Although commodity prices are continuing to rebound, several impending events – particularly the US election and the potential Brexit – could lead to returning volatility. However if hedge funds can continue to capture some alpha in the current environment and maintain this positive performance through H1, they can perhaps begin to look forward with optimism to the rest of 2016 and beyond.” 

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