Hedge funds continued to perform well in 2007, driven by a strong March from emerging markets, long/short equity and equity market-neutral funds, the Credit Suisse Index Co. said.
The Credit Suisse/Tremont Hedge Fund Index rose 1.24% in March to close out the first quarter on a high note by topping the Standard & Poor’s 500, which rose 1.12% on the month. In the first three months of the year, the index is up 3.34%, while the S&P500 is up just 0.64%.
“Despite getting off to a rocky start, global equity markets managed to recoup losses in the beginning of March and ended the month on a positive note,” Credit Suisse Index Co. President Oliver Schupp said. “Overall, this market environment has led to the estimation that eight of the 10 hedge fund sectors will end March on a positive note.”
The best-performing sectors in March were emerging markets, long/short equity and equity market-neutral, at 1.96% (3.2% year-to-date), 1.87% (3.77% YTD) and 1.65% (2.75% YTD). Event-driven funds tracked by CSI were the strongest performers for Q1, up 4.25% year-to-date after a return of 1.27% in March. A pair of event-driven subindices, event-driven multi-strategy and distressed, had especially good first quarters, at 5.6% year-to-date (1.26% in March) and 4.25% year-to-date (1.27% in March), respectively.
The two losers in March were managed futures and dedicated short-bias, the former continuing its wretched 2007 with a 2.54% decline on the month. Managed futures funds are now down 4.7% on the year, the only sector in the red in 2007. Dedicated short bias funds lost 0.62% in March (up 1.64% YTD).
The managed futures bloodbath is even more evident among investable funds, where the strategy dropped 3.12% in March and 5.8% for the first quarter. On the whole, investable funds were up but trailed the S&P500. The Credit Suisse/Tremont Investable Hedge Fund Index rose 0.99% in March (2.33% YTD).