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Lyxor Hedge Fund Index down 0.9 per cent in February

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The Lyxor Hedge Fund Index was down 0.9 per cent in February, with just three out of the 11 Lyxor sub-indices ending the month in positive territory, according to Lyxor’s latest Alternative Investment Industry Barometer.

The Lyxor CTA Long Term Index (+2.2 per cent), the Lyxor Merger Arbitrage Index (+0.5 per cent), and the Lyxor LS Equity Long Bias Index (+0.4 per cent) were the best performers.
The rally by mid-February triggered multiple macro and sector rotations. The selling pressure exhausted by mid-month. The rally in risky assets unfolded in poor trading volumes as most market players were initially reluctant to join in. An unstable market tectonic and multiple downside fundamental risks kept investors – hedge funds included – on the cautious side. In that context, CTAs outperformed, hoarding returns in the early part of the month, while remaining resilient thereafter thanks to stubbornly low yields. Besides, the longest bias strategies enjoyed a V-shape recovery. By contrast, those exposed to the rotations suffered the most.
Long bias funds enjoyed a V-shape recovery over the month and ended up slightly positive. They continued to generate strong alpha. Variable bias funds pared losses on the way down thanks to their cautious stance, but they underperformed on the way up. The rotation out of defensive back into value stocks proved costly. Market Neutral funds were the worst performers. They were hit by multiple sector and quant factor rotations, amid high equity correlation, while keeping their leverage steady. They endured a double whammy through untimely portfolio shifts. Overall Lyxor L/S Equity funds slightly raised their market beta mainly through short covering. But skepticism prevails as to the sustainability of the rally. Interestingly, a number of funds are increasingly tactical in their stock and sector positioning.

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