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Alternative Market Briefing

Improving sales in the U.S. uplift hedge funds in first two weeks of May

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

Hedge funds recouped losses in the first week of this month and were up 0.5% as of May 10 (-2.7% YTD), fuelled by macro managers that were up 1%, Lyxor Asset Management said. The macro strategy was supported by the strengthening of the US dollar and the recovery in equity indices.

Lyxor said that some macro managers’ views on accommodative monetary policies were rewarding, especially with regards to their long stance on European and Japanese fixed income and equities.

Lyxor AM senior strategist Philippe Ferreira, commented, "As the earnings season is coming to an end, markets have found some support on the improving sales picture in the U.S. According to Factset, the first quarter of 2016 is signaling a recovery in U.S. sales results: more than half of the companies listed in the S&P 500 (55% precisely) have beaten sales estimates so far (based on the 458 companies listed in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings until now). This is a strong improvement compared to the last quarter of 2015, when less than 46% of U.S. companies beat sales estimates."

Other strategies are also in the black, with special situation funds continued to be buoyed by the positive risk sentiment (+1.2%). Merger arbitrage funds were up 0.6%. CTAs (-0.7%) suffered from their shorts on the USD (vs JPY especially) and longs in metals. Yet, their less aggressive stance on energy and gains on the fixed income a......................

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