The Lyxor Global Hedge Fund index, an investable index based on Lyxor’s hedge fund platform which tracks the overall hedge fund universe, was up +0.3% in February.|
Risk assets fluctuated dramatically during recent weeks. Prices climbed a bit at the end of January, fell sharply on concerns regarding European markets (the proximate cause was recognition of Greece’s difficulties), and then rallied back toward their starting points as February drew to a close. The volatility helped distinguish active managers from ones relying on bull markets.
The standout managers during this period tended to be in less directional, arbitrage-oriented strategies. For example, the Fixed Income Arbitrage index rose 2.1% over the period as managers were able to monetize the volatility in the fixed income and mortgage backed securities markets.
Within the equity space, Statistical Arbitrage fared well, with the index gaining 0.3%. The Merger Arbitrage index continued the slow and steady gains from January to climb 0.6% in February.
Several strategies posted modest gains. The Lyxor L/S Credit index posted a small gain (0.2%). L/S Equity – Long Bias managers rose 0.6%. Special Situations managers were beset with sharp declines early in the month on net long position in financial stocks, especially European ones, and struggled to make up the deficit before the month ended. The Index was nevertheless up by 0.6%.
Trend following managers rebounded this month: Long-Term CTAs were up 1.4%. The Short-Term CTA index had a more difficult month and was down 0.2%.
L/S Equity – Market Neutral managers faced a small loss, with the index declining 0.4%. The L/S Equity – Variable Bias index indicates that managers in that space continue to struggle (the index is down 0.5% on the month).
The Lyxor Convertible Arbitrage index declined 1.1%. Managers faced downward pressure on convertible valuations due to declining volatility; the VIX actually ended the month below where it began. Distressed index posted losses on the month (down 0.7%). Global Macro managers were up 0.2%. FX positioning provided significant gains to some managers; for example, the EUR provided a significant trend as the value moved to a ten month low.
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