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Alternative Market Briefing

How did the vaccine news impact hedge funds?

Monday, November 16, 2020

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

Already positioned for the outcome, all strategies were up after the U.S. elections, led by L/S Equity, Special Situation, and Global Macro said a report by Lyxor.

In contrast, returns were milder and uneven after the vaccine announcement. It was most beneficial for Special Situation and L/S Credit strategies (boosted by their beta rather than by their alpha), but painful for CTAs and some Global Macro.

L/S Equity returns were highly dispersed. Caught off guard, managers overweighing Growth and "work-from-home" stocks at the expense of Value and Covid-19's prime victims were severely hit, especially in Europe given the extreme rally in financial and airlines stocks.

Long positions contributed positively but shorts faced a major squeeze, hitting Quant and L/S Neutral strategies with a double whammy.

CTAs have not substantially modified their exposures, still, modestly short DM equities but adding to EM equities. They also kept their long dollar and bonds.

Global Macro had raised equity exposures in October and only marginally added to them since last week. They continue to shave off their bond holdings while remaining tactically neutral+ on USD. EM and China hedge funds were cautious ahead of U.S. elections but are now adding risk.

L/S Equity portfolios were already positioned for U.S. elections and were little changed thereafter, all the more so fiscal and tax policies remain uncertain. The knee-jerk reaction after the vaccin......................

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