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Hedge fund returns YTD best since 2012, says eVestment

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Hedge funds gained an average of +0.87 per cent in March, the third consecutive month of positive returns, following a five-month string of aggregate declines, according to the March eVestment hedge fund performance data.

The Q1 2019 year to date (YTD) average gains of +5.40 per cent is the industry’s best aggregate returns since the start of 2012.
Highlighting the volatility frequently associated with emerging markets, India-focused hedge funds were the big winners in March, returning +10.35 per cent, bringing YTD returns into the positive at +5.08 per cent. This is a stark contrast to the -16.23 per cent India-focused funds delivered in 2018. China focused funds are having a strong start to 2019 as well, returning +5.03 per cent in March and +18.65 per cent YTD.
Among primary strategies, Managed Futures funds produced big gains in March, returning an average of +2.78 per cent, bringing Q1 2019 returns to +2.81 per cent. The group has a long way to go to offset 2018 average losses of -6.02 per cent. The largest funds in the space returned an average of +4.74 per cent in March, but again still must recover a lot of ground to offset 2018’s losses of -7.48 per cent.
Other big winners in March among primary strategies included Macro funds, which returned +1.56 per cent for the month (+2.44 per cent YTD) and Quantitative Directional Equity funds, which returned +1.28 per cent in March, bringing YTD returns to +4.60 per cent.
On the other end of the return spectrum, Event Driven – Activist funds took a dive in March, with returns coming in at -2.55 per cent for the month, however their YTD returns are still in the green at +5.48 per cent, a far cry from the -10.36 per cent these funds returned in 2018.
Among primary markets, Commodities funds were the only funds in the red for March at -0.35 per cent, while YTD returns are still in the green at +2.61 per cent.

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