Hedge Funds gained 0.42% in August according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, versus a 3.26% increase in the S&P 500 Total Return Index. Year to date, the Barclay Hedge Fund Index is up 1.55%, while the S&P has gained 9.94%.
“New all-time highs for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq coupled with a rally in US Treasuries helped set the stage for another profitable month for hedge funds,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge.
Overall, 15 of Barclay’s 17 hedge fund indices gained ground in August, while two had losses. The Healthcare & Biotechnology Index was up 5.21% in August, and now has five consecutive months of gains. Distressed Securities were up 1.88%, Equity Long Bias gained 1.40%, Equity Market Neutral was up 0.61%, and the Equity Long/Short Index added 0.48%.
In the loss column, Emerging Markets were down 2.12% and European Equities gave up 0.30%.
“Monetary tightening in the US, trade war worries, and an overabundance of USD denominated debt have wreaked havoc on emerging market currencies,” says Waksman. “Contagion concerns are in the air.”
At the end of August, 13 hedge fund indices had positive returns for the year, while four have lost ground.
The Healthcare & Biotechnology Index has outpaced all other hedge fund indices with a strong 17.42% return. The Technology Index has gained 10.06%, Distressed Securities are up 8.96%, Equity Long Bias has gained 3.69%, and European Equities have a 3.04% return.
The Emerging Markets Index now has a loss of 6.29% for the year, Pacific Rim Equities are down 2.36%, and the Global Macro Index has slipped 0.73%.