Equity Hedge Funds Soar In May

Jun 19 2008 | 2:00am ET

Hedge funds have clawed back into the black, as equity hedge strategies pushed the average hedge fund up more than 2% last month.

Hedge Fund Research’s HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index is now up 0.11% on the year after returning 2.05% in May. Equity hedge strategies dominated during the month, rising 2.6% on the month overall (down 1.19% year-to-date). Energy and basic materials funds were the strongest performer outside the emerging markets area, returning 4.86% last month (up 2.91% YTD).

Other equity hedge strategies posting a strong May include technology/healthcase (up 3.47% in May, up 0.04% YTD) and quantitative directional (up 2.73% in May, down 0.56% YTD).

Last month’s other notable performers were in emerging markets, with Russia and Eastern Europe funds jumping 5.33% last month, though they remain down 0.71% on the year, and Latin America funds adding 3.08% (up 4.34% YTD).

Emerging markets funds generally added 1.62% (down 3.36% YTD). Event-driven funds rose 1.81% (down 0.77% YTD), macro funds 1.33% (up 4.35% YTD) and relative value funds 1.32% (down 0.73% YTD). Funds of hedge funds returned 1.92% on the month (down 1.45% YTD).

Only two of the myriad HFRI indices and subindices were in the red last month: Short-bias funds suffered during the market rally, dropping 1.94% (up 2.85% YTD) and Asia ex-Japan funds fell a further 0.67% (down 8.95% YTD).

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