BofAML Hedge Fund Index Up 0.15%

May 8 2012 | 9:22am ET

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch investable hedge fund composite index was up 0.15% quarter to date, as of May 2, outperforming the S&P 500 which was down 0.44%.

Macro strategies were the best performers in the monitored period, adding 0.66%. Market neutral funds trailed the pack, shedding 1.60%.

Mary Ann Bartels, an analyst with BofAML, says their models indicate that market neutral funds sold market exposure to 1% net short from 6% net long, the first time they’ve been net short since February. Equity long/short also sold market exposure to 21% from 28% net long. Macros sold the S&P 500, NASDAQ 100 and commodities, reduced emerging market and Europe, Australasia and Far East exposures, covered U.S. dollars and bought 10-year Treasuries.

Bartels says data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shows large speculators selling the NASDAQ 100 while covering their shorts in the S&P 500 and Russell 2000.

In agriculture, large specs bought soybean and corn and partially covered wheat, leaving soybean in a crowded long and wheat in a crowded net short.

In metals, large specs bought gold, copper, platinum and palladium, while selling silver; in energy, they bought crude, heating oil and gasoline, while adding to their shorts in natural gas.

On the foreign exchange front, speculators partially covered the euro and yen, while selling U.S. dollars and in interest rates, they added to their shorts in 30-year Treasuries while buying 10- and 2-year Treasuries.

 


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