Early estimates indicate the Credit Suisse/Tremont Hedge Fund Index will experience its first negative month since February 2009 in May with a fall of 2.73 per cent.
The index remains up 1.52 per cent year-to-date and, based on comparable indices, hedge funds outperformed global equity markets which finished down 9.91 per cent for the month.
Event driven funds lost an estimated 3.23 per cent in May as equity-oriented managers declined with global equity markets.
While distressed and merger arbitrage funds performed slightly better, market sell-offs and indiscriminate levels of correlation across asset classes made it difficult for managers to generate positive performance in May.
Global macro returned 0.82 per cent in May, outperforming most of the other sectors in the index as managers benefited from the overall liquidity of their holdings and their tactical ability to reposition their portfolios in the midst of market volatility. Gains in the space were driven by short euro and equity trades.
Long/short equity funds struggled to find profitable positions amid the global equity market sell-offs in May and fell by 4.08 per cent.
Dedicated short bias was the only strategy to lock in gains last month, finishing up an estimated 6.03 per cent.