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Alternative Market Briefing

Hedge funds gain through mid-May despite weak U.S. employment data, slew of concerns

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

A slew of issues, including a weak U.S. employment report, mixed earnings and continued uncertainty regarding both near term outlook for Asian economic growth and the June Brexit vote have driven the global financial markets to decline through mid-May. But hedge funds posted gains as the HFRX Market Directional Index gained +0.31% (-1.27% YTD), while the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index declined -0.25% for the period (-1.72% YTD).

Data provider Hedge Fund Research said that global equity markets posted declines through mid-month led by biotech, financials and oil services, while most European and Asian equities also posted declines. The U.S. dollar gained against most currencies through mid-month as US treasury yields fell on weak economic data, while high yield credit posted modest declines. Metals commodities posted sharp declines led by copper & aluminum, while agricultural commodities posted sharp gains led by coffee, hogs, rice & lumber; natural gas fell.

The report added, "HFRX Event Driven Index posted a gain of +0.96% as large acquisition deals continued to be announced during the period. The HFRX Distressed Index posted a gain +0.97% through mid-month, extending its strong gains of the prior month, with contributions from exposure to the non-cyclical, basic materials and financial sectors. The HFRX Special Situations Index......................

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