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Hedge funds extend positive run in April with 1.21 per cent gain, says BarclayHedge

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Hedge funds extended their run of positive returns to four straight months in April, returning 1.21 per cent for the month, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge.

By comparison, the S&P 500 Total Return Index rose 2.85 per cent in April. For the-year-to date through the end of April hedge funds returned 6.86 per cent while the S&P was up 19.32 per cent.

“Several factors buoyed investor sentiment in April, including US first quarter growth exceeding expectations and strong US consumer spending and March jobs reports,” says Sol Waksman (pictured), president of BarclayHedge. “Hopeful signs in the US-China trade dispute as President Trump directed negotiators to reach a solution bolstered equity markets, while reports that Chinese economic growth held steady in the first quarter gave a further boost to investor confidence.”

The Technology Index set the pace in April with a 3.70 per cent return, with the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index close behind at 3.54 per cent. The Equity Long Bias Index returned 3.15 per cent for the month while the Emerging Markets Eastern Europe Index posted a 3.11 per cent return. 

“Healthy first quarter economic growth in Poland and solid consumer spending and employment gains in Romania were among the factors adding strength to Eastern European funds,” says Waksman.

Other fund sectors in positive territory in April included the Emerging Markets Other Index, up 1.73 per cent, the Emerging Markets MENA index with a 1.68 per cent return and the European Equities Index, up 1.59 per cent.

April saw only a handful of hedge fund sectors in the red. They included the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index, down 2.63 per cent, the Equity Market Neutral Index, off 0.72 per cent, and the Emerging Markets Asia Index, down 0.09 per cent.

For the year-to-date through April, the Technology Index led the pack with a 12.68 per cent return. Also in double digits for the year-to-date was the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index, returning 11.51 per cent through April. The Equity Long Bias Index reflected the year’s strong equity market performance with an 11.84 per cent year-to-date return, while the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index returned 10.98 per cent and the Emerging Markets Eastern Europe Index returned 10.07 per cent.

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