Hedge funds closed out an uninspiring first quarter with a loss.
Hedge Fund Research’s HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index dropped 0.23% in March, leaving it up just 1.11% through the year’s first three months. Adding insult to injury, the industry failed to take advantage of a pedestrian quarter for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which rose just 1.8% during the period, continuing its recent dominance over hedge funds.
Master-limited partnerships cemented their lead as the best-performing hedge funds of the year so far, rising 2.04% in March (4.92% year-to-date). No other strategy tracked by the HFRX suite returned even 1% in March, with distressed restructuring funds second best at 0.64% (3.34% YTD).
Equity market neutral funds added 0.64% on the month (2.09% YTD), credit funds 0.43% (2.41% YTD) and merger arbitrage funds 0.29% (0.46% YTD).
The other 11 strategies and substrategies tracked by HFR went out like a lamb in March, indeed. Systematic diversified commodity trading advisers had the worst of it, falling 1.75% to extend their quarterly worst decline to 2.95%. Fundamental growth funds shed 0.88% in march (up 3.62% YTD), special situations funds 0.4% (up 2.75% YTD), equity hedge funds 0.37% (1.25% YTD), emerging markets funds 0.32% (down 0.39% YTD), fundamental value funds 0.25% (up 0.21% YTD), multi-strategy funds 0.22% (up 0.67% YTD), macro funds and CTAs 0.22% (down 1.04% YTD), relative-value arbitrage funds 0.18% (up 0.94% YTD), event-driven funds 0.13% (up 2.82% YTD) and convertible arbitrage funds 0.02% (up 2.14% YTD).