Massive volatility in the equity markets proved to be a drag on the performance of hedge funds in January with average losses of 1.2 percent, but funds still outperformed equity benchmarks such as the MSCI World Index, which dropped 5.71 percent in the first month of the year.
Funds with a focus on Asia led the decline in a reversal of last year’s performance. China-mandated funds lost 5.76 percent and Japan dedicated funds were down 2.71 percent, according to data provider Eurekahedge.
In 2015, Asia-focused funds were the best performers, returning 7.97 percent followed by Japan with gains of 6.56 percent.
All regionally mandated funds and most strategic mandates ended January with losses, but CTA/managed futures managers returned 2.32 percent during the month.
Managers with exposure to German Bund and the Japanese JGB also saw gains as investors were drawn to safe havens, Eurekahedge reported.
The hedge fund industry ended 2015 with US$2.24 trillion under management. Europe saw the strongest asset growth with an increase of almost 10 percent to $535 billion as European managers returned 4.74 percent for the year. Eurekahedge also noted that Islamic funds managed to outperform the Dow Jones Islamic World Index in 2015.