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Hedge funds post first month of positive aggregate returns this year in March

Thursday, April 14, 2022
Opalesque Industry Update - After two negative months to start 2022, aggregate hedge fund industry performance was positive in March with an average return of +1.50%, according to the just-released March 2022 eVestment hedge fund performance data. Aggregate year to date (YTD) return for the hedge fund business is still negative, but just barely at -0.57%, but this YTD return is better than major equity or fixed income benchmarks.

"Just over 60% of funds reporting to eVestment produced positive results during the month, with those funds reporting positive returns seeing an average gain of +3.88%," said eVestment Global Head of Research Peter Laurelli. "This is a welcome change for the business following a challenging start to 2022."

Managed Futures funds produced one of their best monthly returns on record in March at +6.15%. Nearly 90% of Managed Futures managers reporting to eVestment were up during the month. The largest funds performed even better. The 10 largest Managed Futures funds reporting to eVestment saw an average return of +7.08%. The last time the managed futures segment produced returns near 7% in a month was in February 2008, a few months shy of the peak of the Global Financial Crisis.

Brazil-focused funds industry performance leader in March

Brazil-focused funds were the industry performance leader in March with aggregate returns for these funds at +8.69%. Brazil-focused funds are among the top performers so far this year as well with YTD returns of +13.51%. This should be a welcome change for investors in these funds following two years of negative aggregate returns (-18.77% in 2021 and -9.50% in 2020).

Both Commodity and Macro managers are likely benefiting from similar global influences resulting in very good results in March for both. After an average return of +5.82% in March, Commodity funds are the best performing segment of the entire industry this year, with YTD returns at +15.07%. Nearly 80% of Macro managers produced positive results in March for an aggregate return among these funds of +3.90%. March returns were among the best Macro funds have produced in years.

Long/Short Equity funds eked out a positive performance month in March at +0.92%, but are still negative YTD at -3.23%.

China-focused funds were the big performance losers in March, with aggregate returns for these funds coming in at -6.20%. These funds are also among the worst performers YTD, with aggregate returns for China-focused fund coming in at -13.32%.

Although Russia-focused funds snuck into positive performance territory in March with an aggregate return of +0.05%, these funds are the worst performers so far this year with YTD aggregate performance at -21.07%.

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