Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Hedge funds were again positive in March, and +3.8% in Q1, with nearly 80% of the industry in positive territory for the year. March performance was representative of the trends throughout the first quarter, namely equities exposure led, credit and volatility strategies were positive, but below their 2012 pace, and FX and commodity funds were a drag on the industryís returns, according to new data from eVestment.
Areas producing the best returns in March and Q1 were directional equity strategies, particularly funds targeting Japan and the countryís loose monetary policy fueled equity market rise. They are off to their best start on record. Emerging markets had a difficult month in March and have fallen after their strong start to 2013. India focused funds have given back over half of 2012ís gains.
Credit strategies were again positive, but below the pace set in the second half of 2012. Funds targeting asset-backed credit markets have outperformed all others, including funds in the mortgage-backed sector. Large systematic managed futures funds were the one segment of the managed futures universe with investor inflow in 2012. They have outpaced the rest of the managed futures space in the first three months of 2013, returning +3.1%. This same group was -2.2% in 2012.
One notable shift this quarter were Japan focused funds. "Japan focused funds have ridden the loose monetary
policy infused run in the Nikkei (in USD terms) to average......................
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