Hedge funds posted their ninth-consecutive month of positive returns, albeit barely, according to Eurekahedge.
The Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index added an estimated 0.2% in March, bringing its year-to-date return to 1.33%. Relative value funds led the way, rising 1% (2.23% year-to-date), followed by multi-strategy funds at 0.84% (1.6% YTD) and arbitrage funds at 0.63% (2.33% YTD).
Event-driven funds rose 0.6% in March (1.93% YTD), fixed-income 0.58% (2.24% YTD) and long/short equities 0.56% (1.82% YTD). Distressed debt hedge funds added just 0.38%, but is the best-performing strategy of the year at 3.98%.
Two of Eureka's strategy indices lost ground in March, with commodity trading advisers and managed futures funds dropping 1.03% (down 0.48% YTD) and macro funds edging down 0.06% (up 0.21%).
Regionally, Asia ex-Japan funds did best in a month that saw the massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in that country, rising 2.21% (down 0.63% YTD). Japan funds, by contrast, were down 0.86% (up 2.5% YTD). Emerging markets funds were up 2.03% (1.12% YTD).
Funds of hedge funds were basically flat, dropping 0.04% in March (up 0.63% YTD).