Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:
Hedge funds ended the first quarter of 2014 up 1.31% but that wasn't enough to beat the broad index which was up 2.01% for the same period according to the latest hedge fund monitor data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research. In terms of strategies, Event Driven funds and Equity Market Neutral performed the best during this period, up 3.11% and 2.46% respectively. models indicate that Market Neutral funds increased market exposure to 7% net long from 6% net long. Equity Long/Short market exposure decreased to 38% net long from 39% net long; in line with the 35-40% benchmark level.
After weeks of swinging back and forth, funds appear to be holding on their long exposure to the S&P500, opting instead to unwind some of their favored trades as evidenced by recent large sell-offs in NASDAQ and the Goldman Sachs VIP list of favored names. On the currency side, funds are increasing US dollar exposures as well.
In terms of positions, funds increased their long positioning in Soybean, Corn and Wheat futures. In metals, funds
decreased Gold, Silver, Platinum and palladium longs. They also decreased Copper shorts. In energy, funds increased their Crude longs, reduced Natural Gas & gasoline short, but doubled Heating Oil shorts.
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