FAIRFIELD, IOWA — Hedge funds returned to the black in September, posting an industrywide monthly return of 0.32%, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. By comparison, the S&P Total Return Index was up 1.87% in September.
For the year-to-date through September, hedge funds returned 7.00%. Over the same period, the S&P Total Return Index gained 20.96%.
September’s gain was a welcome reprieve after a losing month in August (-0.96%). Sector performance was mixed, gainers outnumbered those in the red by a 5:3 margin. Emerging market funds – excluding Eastern Europe – were a factor in pushing the index into positive territory for the month.
“Many emerging market countries and Pacific Rim markets benefited in September from the U.S. Fed’s rate cut, while countries like Mexico and Vietnam enjoyed export increases to China as a result of the U.S.-China trade war,” said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. “On the other side of the coin, slowing growth in Germany and elsewhere in Western Europe contributed to slowdowns in Eastern European economies.”
Among sectors in the black in September, the Option Strategies Index led the way with a 2.74% return. Other leading gainers included the Pacific Rim Equities Index, which returned 2.15% in September, the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index rose 2.03%, and the Emerging Markets Asian Equities Index gained 1.32%.
Among the sectors with the largest monthly declines in September were the Technology Index, down 1.55%, the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index lost 1.42%, the European Equities Index dropped 1.15%, and the Equity Long/Short Index fell 0.88%.
While sector results were mixed for the month, all but two remained in the black year-to-date through the end of September. The year’s leaders include the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index, which gained 14.38%, the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index rose 11.95%, the Technology Index returned 10.59%, and the Option Strategies Index advanced 10.39%.
Sectors in the red for the year-to-date were the Volatility Trading Index, down 2.20%, and the Equity Market Neutral Index, off 0.46%.
For a complete table of BarclayHedge Hedge Fund and Sub-Index results for September, as well as historical returns, click here.
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Backstop’s mission is to help the institutional investment industry use time to its fullest potential. We develop technology to simplify and streamline otherwise time-consuming tasks and processes, enabling our clients to quickly and easily access, share, and manage the knowledge that’s critical to their day-to-day business success. Backstop provides its industry-leading cloud-based productivity suite to investment consultants, pensions, funds of funds, family offices, endowments, foundations, private equity, hedge funds and real estate investment firms.
BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop, currently maintains data on more than 7,100 hedge funds, funds of funds and CTAs. The BarclayHedge Indices are utilized by institutional investors, brokerage firms and private banks worldwide as performance benchmarks for the hedge fund and managed futures industries.