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Hedge funds score 7th consecutive month in the black with 1.08% returns in May

Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Opalesque Industry Update - The hedge fund industry notched its seventh consecutive month in the black, posting a 1.08% return for the month of May, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. In aggregate hedge funds outpaced the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 38 basis points on the month.

This stretch of positive results by hedge funds brings their year-to-date performance to 8.06%, modestly narrowing the gap to the S&P 500 Total Return Index which has enjoyed a 12.62% return over the same period.

All but four hedge fund sectors tracked in the Barclay Hedge Fund Indices posted gains in May.

"While equity markets stumbled somewhat on inflation concerns, new U.S. weekly jobless claims achieved pandemic-era lows as economies in the U.S. and elsewhere showed encouraging signs of recovery from the pandemic downturn," said Ben Crawford, Head of Research at BarclayHedge. "Moreover, surging prices for oil, basic materials and other commodities further contributed to investors' economic optimism."

Several emerging markets indices were among May's top performers. BarclayHedge's Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index led the way, up 5.63% for the month. The Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index returned 3.02%, the Emerging Markets Sub Saharan Africa Index gained 2.59%, the Emerging Markets Asian Equities Index was up 2.38%, and the Emerging Markets Global Equities Index advanced 2.21%.

Consistent with the broad market theme of profit-taking in technology securities, hedge fund sector laggards in May were BarclayHedge's Healthcare & Biotechnology Index, down -1.67%, the Technology Index, off -0.83%, the Emerging Markets MENA Index, down -0.63%, and the Convertible Arbitrage Index, down -0.01%.

The Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index continues to set the pace amongst hedge funds sectors, stacking up year-to-date returns of 17.25%. Other high-performing indices through May 2021 include the Equity Long Bias Index (13.38%), the Distressed Securities Index (12.66%), the Event Driven Index (12.04%) and the European Equities Index (10.96%).

No sectors were in the red for the year-to-date period at the end of May.

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