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Hedge fund industry posting best H1 returns since 2009

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Opalesque Industry Update - Hedge funds' monthly results returned to the black in June. For the month, the hedge fund industry posted a 1.94% return, a turnaround from May's 1.66% decline, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. By comparison, the S&P 500 Total Return Index was up 7.07% in June.

With positive returns in five of the past six months, hedge funds have gained 7.06% in the first half of the year, its best start since 2009 when the Index gained 10.93% in H1.

"Declining interest rates in the US and Europe fueled June's rally in share prices and provided a strong tailwind for hedge funds," said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge.

All hedge fund sectors but one - the Volatility Trading Index, down 0.38% -- posted gains in June. Leading the way were the Emerging Markets Latin America Index, up 5.41% for the month, the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index, up 4.14% and the Technology Index with a 3.81% return.

"In June, a weakening US dollar worked to the benefit of many emerging market firms that have dollar-denominated debt," added Waksman.

Several sectors posted double-digit year-to-date gains through June, led by the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index with a 12.73% gain. Other double-digit gainers on the year included the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index, up 12.59%, the Emerging Markets Eastern Europe Index with a 12.10% year-to-date return and the Technology Index, up 11.71% year-to-date.

Only two sectors were in the red for the year-to-date. The Volatility Trading Index was down 1.46% through June while the Equity Market Neutral Index was down 1.09%.

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