The hedge fund industry had a downbeat start to the new year losing 0.18% in January, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. By comparison, the S&P 500 Total Return Index was more or less break-even with a 0.04% loss in January.
Mixed economic indicators worldwide joined with global events during the month to stunt returns for many hedge fund sectors, resulting in a reversal from December’s 1.73% industry-wide return.
“January was a challenging month for investors, marked as it was by the impact of U.S.-Iran tensions at the start of the month and the beginning of the spread of the coronavirus later in January,” said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. “Those events offset the potential market benefits of a U.S.-China phase one trade deal and U.S. stocks hitting record highs mid-month.”
Among hedge fund sectors, the picture was mixed in January, with only 15 of BarclayHedge’s 31 indices in the black for the month. The Emerging Markets Eastern Europe Index led the way with a 2.88% return. Other January gainers included the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index, up 2.34%, the Technology Index, returning 1.94%, the Convertible Arbitrage Index, gaining 1.11%, and the Event Driven, up 0.64%.
Sectors in the red for January included the European Equities Index, down 2.38%, the Equity Long/Short Index, off 1.31%, the Volatility Trading Index, losing 1.28%, the Emerging Markets Global Equities Index, down 1.17%, and the Equity Long Bias Index, down 0.90%.
For a complete table of BarclayHedge Hedge Fund and Sub-Index results for January, as well as historical returns, click here.