Equity Long/Short On Track For Best Showing In Decade

May 7 2013 | 1:29pm ET

Equity long/short hedge funds are on track to return over 20% in 2013—their best performance in over a decade—having returned over 6% in the first four months, reports eVestment.

Oddly, given this strong performance,  long/short equity funds had the highest net investor outflows in 2012 and have continued to see outflows into 2013.

Hedge funds generally returned 1.04% on average in April, putting them up 4.6% for the first four months of 2013, according to the data provider.

Commodity funds remain the only strategies in the red, a fact eVestment attributes to their aggregate long-bias to commodity prices. Commodities strategies lost 0.85% in April and are down 2.28% YTD. 

Sharp price drops for gold and silver mid-April were not meaningful across the industry, says eVestment, although they may have hurt funds with dedicated precious metals exposure (see: John Paulson's Gold Fund).

Credit strategies posted modest April gains and look set to duplicate their 2012 performance. ABS and MBS focused funds were up 1.00% and 1.20%, respectively, in April and 8.9% and 5.1% YTD.

Managed futures added 1.02% in April to bring their YTD totals back into the black. 

Regionally, says eVestment, exposure to Japan’s monetary policy-driven equity market boom has produced once-in-a-generation hedge fund performance: Japan-focused funds are up nearly 20% through April.

China funds rebounded over 2% in April and emerging Europe-focused funds shed almost 2%, although emerging-Europe funds have performed better than their China counterparts YTD.

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