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Hedge funds end January down after a volatile start to 2022

Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Opalesque Industry Update - Losses abounded in January, but the hedge fund industry largely shielded its investors from the worst. Hedge funds in aggregate were down -2.42% on the month, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions.

January was pretty wretched for broad equity indices, and particularly for technology-focused shares. The S&P 500 Total Return Index was battered by a -5.17% loss and the Nasdaq Composite Index bled -9%.

However, there were a few sunny spots with gains by the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index, up 4.94%, the Emerging Markets Latin America Index, gaining 3.07%, the European Equities Index, advancing 1.08%, the Equity Long/Short Index, returning 0.30%, and the Emerging Market Sub-Saharan Africa Index, up 0.03%.

Among the subsectors in the red for January the hardest hit were represented by the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index, off -7.17%, the Technology Index, down -6.31%, the Pacific Rim Equities Index, losing -4.96%, the Equity Long Bias Index, giving up 4.10%, and the Emerging Markets Asian Equities Index, retreating -3.95%.

"Investors were spooked by the price increases in the CPI in January, indicating a 7.5% increase in inflation," said Ben Crawford, Head of Research at BarclayHedge. ""Meanwhile, U.S. stocks turned in their worst performance since March 2020, with technology, biotech and growth stocks taking the biggest lumps. Despite that, hedge funds broadly navigated the volatility and bloodletting relatively well-a notch in the industry's favor as a diversifying agent."

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