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Alternative Market Briefing

Market environment supportive of alternative strategies as global macro exposure to European equities hit five-year high

Friday, April 21, 2017

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

Equities and energy commodities peaked in early March as risk appetite has faded lately. The moves follow a strong quarter for risk assets, said Lyxor Asset Management in its latest Hedge Fund Briefs.

Lyxor AM Senior Strategist Philippe Ferreira cited data from FactSet showing the MSCI World gaining 5.5% in Q1 in a context where business and consumer confidence was very strong and corporate earnings for the S&P 500 may have grown at double-digits. Meanwhile, fixed income staged a comeback, especially since the mid-March FOMC meeting in which the Fed managed to sound dovish while hiking interest rates.

He added, "This environment proved supportive for alternative strategies. The Lyxor Hedge Fund Index was up 0.5% in March, fuelled by fixed income strategies. In Q1, Event-driven managed to outperform, up 2.1%. Improving returns for alternative strategies and rising concerns over the valuation of U.S. equities has led to strong inflows into alternative UCITS. In Q1, the asset class saw double-digit billion euro inflows in Europe, mainly benefitting multistrategy, fixed income arbitrage & market neutral L/S strategies."

He explained that in terms of positioning, it is interesting to note that global macro managers have significantly increased their exposure to European equities. It now stands at a five year high in a context of solid economic data and attractive valuation compared to the......................

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