Just 13 of the 56 hedge fund strategies tracked by Hedge Fund Research’s HFRX Indices ended last month in the red, as the average hedge fund rose 1.61%. Emerging markets funds, especially those focused on the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—did very well.
The April bump—smaller than that shown by most hedge fund indices, and much smaller than the 9.5% return enjoyed by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index last month—leaves the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index up 2.3% on the year. Only two of the HFRX indices, those covering Russia and India funds, exceeded that figure with 12.84% (9.09% year-to-date) and 9.79% (5.37% YTD) returns, respectively.
Other strategies did well, but none as well as the broader markets. Energy and basic materials funds added 8.6% (9.29% YTD), BRIC funds 7.75% (10.83% YTD), China funds 7.42% (21.80% YTD, the best of the bunch so far), activist funds 6.88% (5.76% YTD) and Middle East and North Africa funds 6.33% (5.82% YTD).
On the sadder side of the ledger, short-bias funds understandably struggled mightily during the April equities rally, plummeting 11.1% (down 2.86% YTD). Other strategies deep in the red last month were quantitative directional funds (down 4.44% in April, down 7.84% YTD), systematic diversified funds (down 3.02%, down 5.18% YTD), currency funds (down 1.68%, down 1.34% YTD) and North America funds (down 1.67%, down 0.25% YTD).