Opalesque Industry Update - In August, the harsh stock market situation reduced July’s sharp rebound to a mere glimmer of optimism. In a context where implicit volatility was back on the rise (26.05%), the S&P 500 index almost eliminated its gains of July with a significantly negative return (-4.51%). In line with May and June’s performances, the decline in August pulled the year-to-date performance down into clearly negative territory (-4.62%).|
On the fixed-income market, even though convertible bonds did not wipe out their exceptional gain in July, they did resume their downward slide (-0.81%). Regular bonds followed a more stable trend and managed a third consecutive month of gains (+0.84%). The Lehman Global Bond index yielded an even better return (+2.01%). After two months on the rise, the commodities market almost erased the previous month’s gain with a sharp drop (-4.89%). The dollar recovered partially (+1.79%) from a hectic summer period.
Similarly to its situation in June, and despite the losses of convertible bonds and a shrinking credit spread (-0.85%), the Convertible Arbitrage strategy took advantage of the plummeting stock market to manage a positive return (+1.25%) for a third consecutive month. Despite the losses on the commodities market but along with regular bonds, the CTA Global strategy managed a significant gain (+3.04%), its best since last November.
The poor performances of the stock market naturally impacted the equity-oriented strategies. After some comfortable gains in July, the Equity Market Neutral (-0.57%), Event-Driven (-0.29%) and Long/Short Equity (-0.96%) strategies all inevitably lost ground.
Curiously enough, despite its reduced exposure to the stock market, the Equity Market Neutral strategy was not the best performing among them. Conversely, the Fixed-Income Arbitrage strategy managed a significant profit (+0.99%).
Globally, the Fund-of-Fund strategy remained stable (+0.02%), clearly outperforming the S&P index.