Hedge funds overall returned 0.31 percent in May, the fifth consecutive growth month this year.
At the same time, the average hedge fund trailed the equity market performance of MSCI Work Index, which was up 1.09 percent during the month.
Last month Japanese hedge funds were leading the way with gains of 1.88 percent, followed by European funds, which generated returns of 0.72 percent. North American hedge fund managers, in contrast, posted losses of 0.33 percent in May, and funds investing in Latin America experienced an even steeper decline of 1.19 percent.
Hedge fund data provider Eurekahedge reported in a flash update that hedge fund managers have so far gained 3.25 percent on average this year compared with the underlying markets, which are up 7.45 percent.
On a year-to-date basis, Asian hedge funds, excluding Japan, were leading the table up 7.89 percent followed by emerging markets and Latin American funds with gains of 6.99 percent and 5.91 percent, respectively.
Greater China and India mandated hedge funds posted particularly impressive gains, up 11.04 percent and 15.31 percent for the year, respectively.
In other developed markets, European managers are the best performers, up 4.23 percent, trailed by Japanese and North American managers who posted gains of 3.43 percent and 2.21 percent.
In terms of investment strategies, event driven hedge fund managers posted returns of 5.15 percent. Long/short equities hedge fund managers gained 5.02 percent this year, benefiting from the strength of equity long-bias funds, which returned 7.40 percent.
Distressed debt managers were up 4.60 percent and multi-strategy managers gained 4.46 percent.
CTA/managed futures hedge fund managers, on other declined 0.36 percent this year, pulled back by commodity-focused hedge funds which dropped 2.01 percent, Eurekahedge reported.