The hedge fund industry continued its positive run in March returning 1.23 per cent for a fifth 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 4.38 per cent during the month.
For the year to date, the hedge fund industry was up 4.93 per cent through the end of March. The S&P 500 Total Return Index returned 6.17 per cent over the same period.
Gainers far outnumbered losers during March among the individual sectors tracked in the Barclay Hedge Fund Indices.
“Economic optimism continued to gain traction in March leading equity markets to record highs,” says Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. “In spite of hedge fund losses resulting from the Archegos family office meltdown, passage of the USD1.9 trillion Covid relief bill in the US encouraged investors, as did an upbeat outlook on GDP growth from the Fed. Meanwhile, unemployment continued to trend downward, with new claims at one point hitting their lowest level since the start of the pandemic.”
The Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index led the way in March gaining 3.17 per cent. Meanwhile, the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index returned 2.62 per cent, the Distressed Securities Index gained 2.57 per cent, the Emerging Markets MENA Index advanced 2.53 per cent and the European Equities Index was up 2.49 per cent.
Sectors losing ground in March included the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index, down 3.05 per cent, the Emerging Markets Global Fixed Income Index, off 2.06 per cent, the Merger Arbitrage Index, losing 1.76 per cent, and the Convertible Arbitrage Index, retreating 1.25 per cent.
The Distressed Securities Index was the year-to-date pacesetter through March returning 9.35 per cent. The Equity Long Bias Index returned 8.96 per cent over the period, the European Equities Index advanced 8.62 per cent, the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index was up 7.83 per cent and the Emerging Markets MENA Index gained 7.71 per cent.
Three hedge fund sectors were in the red for the year to date. The Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index was down 3.75 per cent, the Emerging Markets Latin America Index was off 2.51 per cent, and the Emerging Markets Global Fixed Income Index was down 2.07 per cent.