Hedge funds up 2.14 per cent in April, says Backstop BarclayHedge

The hedge fund industry added to its gains in April, returning 2.14 per cent as the industry posted a sixth consecutive month in the black, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. By comparison the S&P 500 Total Return Index gained 5.34 per cent in April.

For the year to date, the hedge fund industry gained 7.06 per cent through the end of April. The S&P 500 Total Return Index returned 11.84 per cent over the same period.

All sectors but two tracked in the Barclay Hedge Fund Indices were in positive territory for April.

“The economic news was positive across sectors in April,” says Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. “Equity markets continued to hit record highs while U.S. jobless claims consistently hit pandemic lows during the month. Manufacturing activity picked up in the US, the UK and the Eurozone while the Chinese economy grew at its fastest pace on record in the first quarter and the US GDP rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels.”

The Pacific Rim Equities Index led the way among hedge fund sectors in April returning 3.88 per cent. Other notable gainers included the Equity Long Bias Index and Event Driven Indices, each advancing 3.45 per cent, the Technology Index returning 3.15 per cent, the Emerging Markets MENA Index gaining 3.14 per cent, and the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index posting a 2.99 per cent return.

The lone two sectors in the red for April were the Convertible Arbitrage Index, off 0.23 per cent, and the Volatility Trading Index, down 0.02 per cent for the month.

For the year to date, the Equity Long Bias Index led the way through April gaining 12.57 per cent. The Event Driven Index was up 11.29 per cent over the period, the Distressed Securities Index advanced 11.05 per cent, the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index returned 10.95 per cent and the Emerging Markets MENA Index gained 10.74 per cent.

Two sectors were in the red for the year to date. The Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index was down 1.52 per cent, while the Emerging Markets Latin America Index was off 0.61 per cent.

“A stronger US dollar and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to challenge Latin American markets,” says Waksman.