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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.

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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.

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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).

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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).

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