Hedge funds extended their winning streak to a second month with a February return of 1.24 per cent, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge.
By comparison, the S&P 500 Total Return Index rose 3.21 per cent for the month. Year to date, hedge funds gained 4.98 per cent while the S&P was up 11.48 per cent.
“Markets quickly overcame the downdraft precipitated by a strong US wage growth report that stoked inflation fears and rising interest rate jitters early in the month,” says Sol Waksman (pictured), president of BarclayHedge. “Multiyear highs for corporate profits and consumer confidence were able to promptly recapture investor enthusiasm.”
Among the leading performers among hedge fund sectors in February were the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index with a 3.10 per cent return, the Emerging Markets Global Fixed Income Index which posted a 3.43 per cent return, the Emerging Markets Asia Index which returned 2.72 per cent and the Technology Index with a 2.63 per cent return.
With financial conditions tightening in many emerging market countries, several emerging markets indices were among those posting negative returns in February. The Emerging Markets Latin America Index was down 2.31 per cent in February, the Emerging Markets MENA Index was down 1.05 per cent and the Emerging Markets Eastern Europe Index dropped 0.98 per cent.
Through 2019’s first two months year-to-date return leaders included the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index which was up 13.00 per cent on the year, the Emerging Markets Global Fixed Income Index with a 9.32 per cent year-to-date return, the Equity Long Bias Index which was up 8.44 per cent through February and the Technology Index with a 7.51 per cent year-to-date return.
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