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Hedge funds gain 0.32% in September

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Opalesque Industry Update - Hedge funds returned to the black in September, posting an industrywide monthly return of 0.32%, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. By comparison, the S&P Total Return Index was up 1.87% in September.

For the year-to-date through September, hedge funds returned 7.00%. Over the same period, the S&P Total Return Index gained 20.96%.

September's gain was a welcome reprieve after a losing month in August (-0.96%). Sector performance was mixed, gainers outnumbered those in the red by a 5:3 margin. Emerging market funds - excluding Eastern Europe - were a factor in pushing the index into positive territory for the month.

"Many emerging market countries and Pacific Rim markets benefited in September from the U.S. Fed's rate cut, while countries like Mexico and Vietnam enjoyed export increases to China as a result of the U.S.-China trade war," said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. "On the other side of the coin, slowing growth in Germany and elsewhere in Western Europe contributed to slowdowns in Eastern European economies."

Among sectors in the black in September, the Option Strategies Index led the way with a 2.74% return. Other leading gainers included the Pacific Rim Equities Index, which returned 2.15% in September, the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index rose 2.03%, and the Emerging Markets Asian Equities Index gained 1.32%.

Among the sectors with the largest monthly declines in September were the Technology Index, down 1.55%, the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index lost 1.42%, the European Equities Index dropped 1.15%, and the Equity Long/Short Index fell 0.88%.

While sector results were mixed for the month, all but two remained in the black year-to-date through the end of September. The year's leaders include the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index, which gained 14.38%, the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index rose 11.95%, the Technology Index returned 10.59%, and the Option Strategies Index advanced 10.39%.

Sectors in the red for the year-to-date were the Volatility Trading Index, down 2.20%, and the Equity Market Neutral Index, off 0.46%.

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