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Barclay Hedge Fund Index up 0.35% in March

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Hedge funds gained 0.35% in March according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge. Year-to-date, the Index is up 1.95%.

“The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, increasing turmoil in the Middle East, and the outlook for higher interest rates in the future helped to drive stock and bond prices lower in developed nations,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge. “In spite of these headwinds, hedge funds were able to eke out a small gain for the month.”

Eleven of Barclay’s 18 hedge fund indices were in positive territory in March. The Barclay Emerging Markets Index led the way with a 2.30% gain. The Healthcare & Biotechnology Index was up 0.70%, Equity Market Neutral and Convertible Arbitrage both gained 0.60%, and Fixed Income Arbitrage rose 0.56%.

“All of the regional MSCI emerging markets indices were profitable last month,” says Waksman. “Asia led the sector with a gain of 7.06 percent for March.”

The Equity Short Bias Index lost 1.85% in March, and the Pacific Rim Equities Index was down 1.35%.

All but two of the hedge fund indices tracked by BarclayHedge are profitable at the end of the first quarter of 2011. The Technology Index is up 4.85%, Convertible Arbitrage has gained 4.20%, Distressed Securities added 3.73%, and the Fixed Income Arbitrage Index is up 3.67%.

Equity Short Bias and Global Macro are the only losing hedge fund strategies in 2011, down 5.63% and 0.43% respectively year-to-date.

The Barclay Fund of Funds Index slipped 0.07% in March, but is still up 0.94% after three months

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