Opalesque Industry Update - Hedge funds returned an average of 0.69% in November 2012, retuning back to positive territory after October’s loss snapped its four month upswing. The majority of early reporting funds posted gains, but there were segmented losses across market exposures and strategies.|
Credit funds posted their tenth positive month of the year in November, however flow data from October showed the group experienced only its third month of net redemptions this year and largest since January, a signal investors may becoming wary of crowded credit markets having enjoyed over two years of strong relative returns.
Currently reporting equity strategies have outpaced the S&P 500 TR for the second consecutive month and for the first time during a positive month for the benchmark in more than a year. Small cap, technology and energy exposures produced negative returns in November, but it appears aggregated exposures were not weighted heavily enough towards those markets to bring the group down.
The US Dollar Index crept higher during the month, but that did not prevent FX strategies from posting another monthly loss as the Euro strengthened against the USD. Exposures and strategies are diverse across FX funds, but Euro weakness appears to be a root theme across the group as the two best months for FX strategies in 2012 were May and July, coinciding with the Euro’s largest monthly declines.
Emerging market funds were again positive during the month, with exposure to China again being the lone exception. EM funds are among the best in the industry in 2012, despite returns generated from China focused funds being among the industry’s worst.
Macro fund performance appears to have diverged a bit from managed futures in November with the latter likely suffering similar exposure issues as FX funds.
Volatility strategies have not received much attention this year, but produced some of the industry’s best returns. November was their tenth positive month in 2012 and the group has shown an ability to manage its namesake during the few largely negative market environments this year.