Hedge Funds Up 0.67% MTD

Mar 25 2013 | 11:03am ET

Hedge funds were up 0.67% month-to-date as of March 20, according to the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch Hedge Fund Monitor.

The investable hedge fund composite index trailed the S&P 500 which was up 2.91% over the same period.

Event driven and equity long/short strategies performed best, up 1.48% and 1.40%, respectively. Market neutral funds were the worst performers, losing 0.05%.

BofAML analyst Mary Ann Bartels says their models indicate market neutral funds sold market exposure to 7% net long from 9% net long while equity long/short funds held market exposure steady at 28% net long, below the 35-40% benchmark. Macros sold the S&P 500, bought the NASDAQ 100, commodities and 10-year Treasuries, and maintained their shorts in the U.S. dollar. In addition, they partially covered EM but added to their shorts in EAFE.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission data shows large hedge fund speculators bought the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 to a record long while continuing to buy NASDAQ 100 futures.

Agriculture specs sold soybean, bought corn and partially covered their shorts in wheat while metals specs bought gold; sold silver, platinum and palladium; and added to their shorts in copper.

Energy speculators sold crude and heating oil, partially covered natural gas and remained flat gasoline. Forex speculators bought US dollars, partially covered the yen and added to their shorts in the euro. Interest rates speculators added to their shorts in 30-year Treasuries, partially covered 10-year and sold 2-year Treasuries.

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