Hedge Funds Double 2011 Returns In April

May 11 2011 | 12:09pm ET

Hedge funds returned 1.4% in the first quarter, but jumped 1.69% in the first month of the second, according to Greenwich Alternative Investments.

The Greenwich Global Hedge Fund Index more than doubled its year-to-date return last month to 3.25%. Still, the benchmark badly trailed the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which returned almost 3% in April alone and is up about 9% on the year.

With two exceptions, all of Greenwich AI's strategy and substrategy indices were in the black last month, led by directional trading funds—and especially futures funds. The former rose 3.05% last month (2.46% year-to-date) and the latter 3.66% (2.94% YTD).

Multi-strategy event-driven funds also did well, adding 2.08% to reach 4.82% on the year, the best mark of any strategy or substrategy tracked by Greenwich AI.

"Hedge funds continued to move higher in April driven by strength in equities and commodities," Clint Binkley, senior vice president at Greenwich AI, said. "Nearly all hedge fund strategies are at new highs for the year and continue to be successful in a market dominated by headline risk and uncertainty."

Two that are not are other arbitrage funds (excluding convertible and fixed-income), which fell 1.17% on the month and are down 0.77% on the year. Short-biased funds also wilted amidst the market rally, dropping a further 1% to fall to 4.15% down.

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