A combination of tough volatility in the commodity markets and continuing fears over Greece’s sovereign debt crisis (not to mention the contagion spilling over into Portugal, Italy and Ireland) made it another treacherous month for hedge funds globally, despite signs of a US recovery. According to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research, its Composite Index for global hedge funds ended June -1.22 per cent to leave them at +0.76 per cent YTD. Investors made their feelings known by withdrawing assets, so much so that June saw the highest level of redemptions since October ’09 according to data released by GlobeOp. Asian hedge funds mirrored the global lethargy in performance. The HFRI Asia ex-Japan Index fell 1.65 per cent (-3.19 per cent YTD), with Singapore-based Eurekahedge putting the figure at -1.24 per cent. However, Japanese hedge funds were able to buck the trend. June figures show a 0.16 per cent gain to leave them up 0.87 per cent for the year, outperforming the Nikkei 225 by some 5 per cent in the first half of 2011.
Within Asia ex-Japan the best performing strategy was Relative Value, gaining 3.13 per cent although equity l/s funds struggled to find upward momentum for a second straight month, finishing the month down 1.84 per cent to leave them -1.59 per cent for the year. CTA (+1.88 per cent) and Event-Driven (+1.41 per cent) funds made gains: at 9.31 per cent YTD, the latter is far and away the stand-out Asian strategy in 2011.