Hedge funds gained 1.12 per cent in March, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge.
The index is up 3.96 per cent year to date, and has enjoyed ten straight months of gains.
“The mid-month announcement of a flawed Cyprus bailout plan unsettled global markets and sentiment shifted back to risk-off,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge. “Interest rates moved lower and equity markets were muted with the notable exceptions of the US and Japan. The Nikkei Index gained 7.25 per cent as the BOJ aggressively moved to reflate Japan’s economy and stressed its commitment to target a two per cent inflation rate."
Overall, 15 of Barclay’s 18 hedge fund strategies were up in March. The Barclay Healthcare & Biotechnology Index gained 2.95 per cent, Pacific Rim equities added 2.77 per cent, distressed securities was up 2.12 per cent, and equity long bias gained 1.99 per cent.
“Although credit spreads widened in March, demand for US high yield combined with diminished supply resulted in spread compression for the HY sector,” says Waksman.
The Barclay Fund of Funds Index gained 0.90 per cent in March, and is up 3.29 per cent after three months.
The Equity Short Bias Index lost 3.20 per cent in March, emerging markets was down 0.52 per cent, and the Technology Index lost 0.31 per cent. Equity short bias has dropped 9.38 per cent in first three months of 2012.