Hedge Funds Falter In August

Sep 9 2008 | 12:36pm ET

Hedge funds saw their dismal 2008 continue in August, leaving the average hedge fund down about 5% on the year, according to a pair of indices from Hedge Fund Research.

The HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index lost a further 1.37% last month (down 4.83% year-to-date), while the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index shed 1.28% (down 5.05% YTD). The latter’s subindices show just one strategy, merger arbitrage, in the black last month at 0.56% (up 3.4% YTD), while the former shows just five of its 22 substrategies enjoyed a positive return in August.

Macro funds were among the worst performers in both sets of indices, with the HFRX Macro Index falling 3.94% in August (up 3.47% YTD) and the HFRI Marco (Total) Index dropping 1.16% (up 2.57% YTD). But macro’s woes are nothing compared to the pain being felt by emerging markets investors this year.

Last year’s top-performing strategy is down 14.48% in 2008 after plummeting 5.02%, according to the HFRI indices. Emerging markets funds around the world are suffering, none more so than Russia and Eastern Europe funds, which lost 9.39% last month (down 19.45% YTD).


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