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Hedge funds post 0.88 per cent return in October, says Backstop BarclayHedge

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The pace of hedge fund returns picked up a bit in October, with the industry posting a monthly gain of 0.88 per cent, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions.

By comparison, the S&P Total Return Index was up 2.17 per cent in October.

For the year-to-date through October, hedge funds returned 7.95 per cent. Over the same period, the S&P Total Return Index gained 23.17 per cent.

October saw positive returns across 28 of Barclay’s 31 hedge fund indices. Hopeful economic signs on several fronts contributed to the month’s gains.

“In spite of slowdowns in business investment and manufacturing, consumer spending, buoyed by full employment, has been rising,” says Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. “Anticipation of a third rate cut this year by the US Fed and a return to a normalised yield curve helped propel the S&P 500 to new high ground in October.”

Among the numerous hedge fund sectors in the black for October, the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index led the way with a 5.88 per cent return for the month. Other leading gainers in October included the Technology Index, up 2.46 per cent, the Option Strategies Index, with a 2.41 per cent return, the Emerging Markets Global Equities Index, gaining 2.17 per cent, and the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index, up 2.13 per cent.

Only three hedge fund sectors were in the red for October. They included the Emerging Markets MENA Index, off 0.49 per cent for the month, the Global Macro Index, down 0.33 per cent, and the Multi Strategy Index which lost 0.15 per cent.

As October ended all but two sectors remained in the black for the year-to-date. Leading gainers for 2019 included the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index, returning 16.14 per cent on the year, the Technology Index, gaining 14.58 per cent, the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index, posting a 14.23 per cent year-to-date return, and the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index, up 13.35 per cent.

The sectors in the red year-to-date through October were the Volatility Trading Index, down 1.47 per cent, and the Equity Market Neutral Index, off 0.24 per cent on the year.

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