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Hedge funds return 1.23% in March, up 4.93% year to date

Friday, April 16, 2021
Opalesque Industry Update - The hedge fund industry continued its positive run in March returning 1.23% for a fifth consecutive month in the black, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. By comparison the S&P 500 Total Return Index gained 4.38% during the month.

For the year to date, the hedge fund industry was up 4.93% through the end of March. The S&P 500 Total Return Index returned 6.17% over the same period.

Gainers far outnumbered losers during March among the individual sectors tracked in the Barclay Hedge Fund Indices.

"Economic optimism continued to gain traction in March leading equity markets to record highs," said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. "In spite of hedge fund losses resulting from the Archegos family office meltdown, passage of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill in the U.S. encouraged investors, as did an upbeat outlook on GDP growth from the Fed. Meanwhile, unemployment continued to trend downward, with new claims at one point hitting their lowest level since the start of the pandemic."

The Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index led the way in March gaining 3.17%. Meanwhile, the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index returned 2.62%, the Distressed Securities Index gained 2.57%, the Emerging Markets MENA Index advanced 2.53% and the European Equities Index was up 2.49%.

Sectors losing ground in March included the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index, down 3.05%, the Emerging Markets Global Fixed Income Index, off 2.06%, the Merger Arbitrage Index, losing 1.76%, and the Convertible Arbitrage Index, retreating 1.25%.

The Distressed Securities Index was the year-to-date pacesetter through March returning 9.35%. The Equity Long Bias Index returned 8.96% over the period, the European Equities Index advanced 8.62%, the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index was up 7.83% and the Emerging Markets MENA Index gained 7.71%.

Three hedge fund sectors were in the red for the year to date. The Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index was down 3.75%, the Emerging Markets Latin America Index was off 2.51%, and the Emerging Markets Global Fixed Income Index was down 2.07%.

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