HFR: Hedge Funds Down 2% In January

Feb 11 2008 | 2:23pm ET

Hedge fund gave back a big chunk of their 2007 returns last month, one of their worst starts to a new year ever.

The average hedge fund fell 2.06% in January, according to Hedge Fund Research’s HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index. Last year, that index rose 4.23%.

Event-driven, equity hedge and relative value arbitrage fund were the biggest drags on the industry’s performance last month, falling 3.39%, 3.37% and 3.31%, respectively. But they had a lot of company, as the only strategy tracked by HFRX in the black in January was macro, which rose an impressive 3.82%—better than its full-year return of 3.19% last year.

Equity-market neutral funds declined by 2.75% last month. Distressed securities lost 1.4%, while merger and convertible arbitrage dropped 0.65% and 0.42%, respectively.

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