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Hedge Funds Stage April Comeback

The global hedge fund business staged a comeback in April, with a positive aggregate return of +5.02%, according to the just-released April 2020 eVestment hedge fund performance data. All major hedge fund types tracked were in the green for April, although some just barely. This marks a major and promising turnaround from March when almost all hedge fund types tracked were in the red for the month.

However, most hedge fund types are still in the red year-to-date (YTD), reflecting the dramatic market turmoil unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic in the first quarter of the year. Aggregate industry returns for the year stand at -7.49%, according to eVestment.

Interestingly, gains were generally greatest among strategies that still have the lowest average returns for the year, according to eVestment’s global head of research, Peter Laurelli. For instance, he notes, event driven-activist funds saw the highest returns among the primary fund strategies that eVestment tracks, at +10.73%, but are posting YTD returns of -16.76%. Similarly, India-focused hedge funds posted strong returns of +11.89% in April, but are in the red at -17.67% for the year.

Among primary hedge fund strategies, other performance winners were long/short equity funds and origination and financing funds, which saw April returns of +7.95% and +7.21%, respectively. Long/short equity funds are still in the red YTD, at -9.13%, but origination and financing funds are at +3.21% returns YTD.

Among primary fund markets, commodity focused funds eked out a just-barely positive return of +0.32% in April, but at -12.03% YTD, are among the biggest performance losers for the year among the funds eVestment tracks.

Brazil-focused funds turned in positive returns of +5.12% in April. But after a challenging 1Q, Brazil-focused funds are still posting the largest YTD performance losses among all fund types eVestment tracks, at -30.52%.

FX funds returned 0.82% during the month, 1.78% YTD, which is down from the 1.84% for the same period a year earlier.

Julie Ros

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