A pair of indices show that hedge funds had a strong April on the back of soaring global equities markets, but their lead on the broader markets has been whittled to an almost negligible amount.
HedgeFund.net’s Hedge Fund Aggregate Average posted its best month in over a year, and its best April since 1999, rising 2.61% on the month. The index is now up 5.21% year-to-date. But a rising tide lifts all (or most) boats, and this tide lifted the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher, with the broad-market benchmark jumping 4.43% in April to reach 5.1% year-to-date, all but wiping out the lead hedge funds built in the first quarter.
The top-performing strategies were equity long/short and event-driven, with the former rising 2.46% (5.8% YTD) in the HFN index and 2.74% (6.92% YTD) in the Dow Jones Hedge Fund Strategy Benchmarks, while the latter added 3.18% (8.49% YTD) according to HFN and 2.34% (5.68% YTD) according to Dow Jones.
Other strong performers in the HFN indices included emerging markets (3.58%, 7.66% YTD) and energy sector (3.55%, 7.4% YTD). Regionally, Asian and Latin American funds were good bets in April, at 5.09% (7.96% YTD) and 4.37% (10.95% YTD), respectively.
Both sets of returns showed all strategies in positive territory both in April and year-to-date.