Hedge funds continue on positive track, global index up 4%

8 May 2013

Hedge funds posted positive returns in April as most markets trended upwards during the month. The Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index was up 1.09%1 during the month, while the MSCI World Index2 gained 2.02% in April.

Key takeaways for the month of April 2013:

• Japanese hedge funds witnessed strongest April and 4-months on record returns, gaining 4.22% and 15.87% respectively
• The Eurekahedge Billion Dollar Hedge Fund Index is up 4.01% April YTD with total assets standing at US$253 billion
• Asia ex-Japan hedge funds outperformed underlying markets for second consecutive month
• Eurekahedge is currently tracking more than 250 funds that have delivered over 15% year-to-date
• Distressed debt funds extend their winning streak to 10 months, gaining 23% since July 2012
• The asset-weighted Mizuho-Eurekahedge Asia Pacific Index was up 6.89% in April YTD

Regional Indices

The start of the month witnessed some profit taking from the equity markets amid some disappointing global economic data. The S&P 500 dipped below the 1550 mark by mid-month amid news of less-than-expected Chinese growth hit global markets. The markets however, brushed off initial disappointment amid the earnings season, some positive economic data from the US and the installation of an Italian government in Europe.

Most major hedge fund investment regions delivered positive returns for the month, with Japanese managers posting the strongest returns for yet another month. The Eurekahedge Japan Hedge Fund Index was up 4.22% in April, bringing its year-to-date return to 15.87% and extending their winning run to eight consecutive months - making it the longest winning streak on record for Japanese funds. The Nikkei 255 was up 11.8% during the month.

Asia ex-Japan managers also delivered positive returns in April with gains of 2.37%, outperforming the underlying markets for the second consecutive month – the MSCI Asia ex Japan Index3 was up 1.87% during the month. Managers investing in India witnessed the strongest returns with an average gain of 6.60% in April. North American managers posted returns of 0.76% in April as the market witnessed some trend reversals during the month – the S&P 500 increased by 1.81% in April.

Strategy Indices

With the exception of relative value funds, all strategic mandates finished the month with positive returns; the strongest gains being posted by CTA/managed futures and distressed debt. The Eurekahedge Distressed Debt Hedge Fund Index grew 5.50% in April, bringing its year-to-date return to 11.05%. Distressed debt gained from another month of positive news from the US housing sector and from declining risk aversion in Europe as the Eurogroup approved the Cyprus bailout while the Italian political situation stabilised. The BofA Merrill Lynch High Yield Index4 was up 1.67% during the month.

CTA/managed futures funds posted their strongest return for the year with gains of 1.89% in April. Although some managers reported losses from exposure to precious metals, a number of managers posted excellent double digit returns from contrarian views. Short-term trend-following managers also posted healthy returns during the month.

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