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Hedge funds continue winning performance ways in April

Friday, May 14, 2021
Opalesque Industry Update - Hedge fund performance was broadly positive in April, with 85% of funds reporting to eVestment seeing positive performance figures and the industry as a whole posting a return of +2.61% for the month, according to the just-released April 2021 eVestment hedge fund performance data.

Year to date (YTD) average performance for the industry stands at +7.61%, which is a fairly good relative return when looking across global equity and fixed income markets, according to eVestment Global Head of Research Peter Laurelli.

Commodity-focused hedge funds scored some of the strongest returns, with average returns for Commodity funds standing at +6.71% in April. Following a dip into negative territory in March after a strong start to the year in January and February, Commodities-focused hedge funds are returning an average of +5.62% for the year.

Following a decent March, there were some positive signs coming from some of the industry's largest products, which had been an area of concern. The nine out of the 10 largest reporting hedge funds were positive during the month and the group produced their best average monthly return, +3.72%, since at least 2015. Among the 10 largest hedge funds, all except for one product is positive for the year now. "Though a handful are performing what would normally be considered relatively well through four months of a year," said Laurelli, "none of these largest funds are outperforming the industry aggregate."

At the primary strategy level, Long/Short Equity funds (at +3.05% in April and +7.44% YTD) and Event Driven-Activist funds (at +2.22% in April and +9.73% YTD) are performing well and benefited from strong equity market returns.

Brazil-focused hedge funds saw a performance surge in April, with an average performance of +5.87% last month. Those strong returns weren't enough to dig Brazil-focused funds out of the hole dug in the first quarter of the year, so average YTD performance stands at -8.42%.

Among the sub-sectors of Equity funds eVestment tracks, Energy and Financial focused Equity funds are performing particularly well. Equity-Energy funds returned an average of +4.44% in April and +10.38% YTD. Equity-Financials funds returned an average of +2.40% in April and have average YTD returns of +12.78%.

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