Hedge funds have strong first quarter

Hedge fund managers returned 1% in March, bringing their year-to-date gains to 4.29%, buoyed by global equity markets as central banks put tighter monetary policies on hold.

The Eurekahedge Greater China Hedge Fund Index was up 11.46% for the year, reflecting greater optimism about the progress of US-China trade talks with equity markets recovering strongly after last year’s losses. China A-shares also benefited from MSCI’s announcement to increase their weight in the emerging market indices this year, data provider Eurekahegde reported.

Hedge fund managers focussing on Japan and Europe were up 2.56% and 2.35%, respectively, this year but trail their peers with North America and Asia (excluding Japan) mandates.

The Eurekahedge European Hedge Fund Index, in fact, declined 0.30% in March, despite the positive performance of Europe’s equity markets.

North American fund managers, in turn, were up 5.15% through March this year after fourth-quarter losses in 2018. Asia-focussed funds also rebounded 1.42% in March, bringing year-to-date returns to 6.56%, according to a Eurekahedge index flash update.

CTA/managed futures hedge funds outperformed most of their peers by returning 2.65% in March on the back of a strong energy sector. Multi-strategy fund managers, up 1.03%, benefited from the upward movement in the equity and bond markets in March. On a year-to-date basis, equity long-biased strategies continued to outperform, returning 8.81% during the first quarter of 2019.

The Eurekahedge Crypto-Currency Hedge Fund Index gained 13.56% in March, recording its best month in nearly a year. About half of the underlying crypto-currency hedge funds managed to outperform Bitcoin, which gained 8.17% during the month.