Hedge funds added 3.7% in September, according to the Bloomberg Hedge Fund indices, with all strategies—including, unusually, short-bias—in the black on the month.
The Bloomberg Aggregate Hedge Fund Index itself surged into the black last month and is now up 2.6% on the year. With U.S. stocks enjoying their best September in more than 70 years, long-bias equity funds led the way with a 6% return (2.5% year-to-date).
Surprisingly, short-bias funds weren't far behind with a 4.9% return (4.4% YTD). Most hedge fund index families showed short hedge funds taking a beating, with many down by double-digits both on the month and year.
Emerging market equities also did well, adding 5.3% on the month (9.1% YTD). Equity fundamental market-neutral placed in September with a 5.2% return, but it wasn't enough to erase the strategy's 2010 loss, which now stands at 4.1%. It is the only strategy index in the red on the year.
Long/short equity funds returned 4.9% on the month (4.6% YTD), equity statistical arbitrage funds returned 3.6% (2.5% YTD), commodity trading advisers and managed futures funds returned 3.5% (0.8% YTD) and fixed-income arbitrage funds returned 3.3% (9.4% YTD).
Merger arbitrage funds added 2.9% (flat YTD), macro funds added 2.8% (1.6% YTD), multi-strategy funds added 2.7% (1.6% YTD), distressed securities funds added 2.1% (8.9% YTD) and convertible arbitrage funds added 1.2% (3.6% YTD).
Mortgage-backed arbitrage funds have proven the best bet on the year with a 14% return, followed by emerging market equities and distressed securities.
Funds of hedge funds returned an average of 3.2% last month to cut their year-to-date loss to 1.3%.