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Alternative Market Briefing

Hedge funds off to a poor start in 2016, but assets still rise

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

The hedge funds industry started 2016 on a bad note with the Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index down -1.20% in January.

Despite market volatility that started in the summer of last year, assets grew to $2.24tln through the end of 2015. Investor inflows accounted for three-quarters of the industry's $108.7bn in asset growth last year.

In its February report, Eurekahedge said that investor panic induced strong downward pressure on equity markets leading to a sell-off and a resulting capital flight to safe havens at the start of this year. The MSCI World Index declined -5.71% over January with much of the weakness in the global equity markets being led by Asia. Indeed, all eyes were on Asia in January as developments in East Asian economies along with a tumbling oil prices took center stage and sent ripples throughout the region and beyond.

The report said, "Equity market volatility dominated trading throughout the month as concerns over the health of the Chinese economy also added to the bleak market outlook. Oil found some support during the month, as a cold spell in the U.S. took some heat off China following a brief recovery in oil prices. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) caught the markets by surprise in late January by announcing negative interest rates - this followed a dismal start to the year for Japanese equities with the Nikkei 225 declining 7.96% during the month."

Asian managers posted their weakest returns since Au......................

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