Equity long/short funds were largely to blame for hedge funds' 0.17% loss in January 2014, reports the data provider Preqin.
Although they outperformed the S&P 500, which was down over 3.5% on the month, equity long/short funds were down 0.28% in January. Long-bias funds shed 1.45%.
The best-performing strategy was relative value, thanks to strong gains by fixed-income arbitrage funds, up 1.60%; and relative-value arbitrage funds, up 1.43%
Macro strategies were down 0.15% in January and CTAs fell 1.08%.
In regional terms, Europe-focused funds were the best performers in January, returning 0.65%; followed by North America-focused funds, up 0.55%.
Emerging markets funds were down 2.27% and Asia Pacific-focused funds shed 0.51%.
UCITS funds were not impervious to the general trend last month, ending the period down 0.41%; thanks particularly to losses by long/short strategies (down 0.76%) and macros (down 0.12%).
Funds of hedge funds again underperformed compared to the overall hedge fund benchmark, with average returns of -0.57%.