SINGAPORE Jan 10 Japan-focused hedge funds chalked up their best annual returns in five years, rising 6.79 percent in the 12 months to Dec 31, Singapore-based fund tracker Eurekahedge said on Monday.
The average return by Japanese hedge funds for 2010 beat the benchmark Nikkei stock index, which declined 3.1 percent last year, and was an improvement over the 6.09 percent rise in Eurekahedge Japan Hedge Fund Index for 2009.
"There was significant volatility in Japanese markets last year and the managers were able to take advantage of the upside while hedging against the downside," Eurekahedge senior analyst Farhan Mumtaz told Reuters.
Asia ex-Japan hedge funds rose 10.42 percent last year, well below the 38.17 percent return they managed for 2009.
Global hedge funds ended 2010 with double-digit gains but lagged behind the average stock market indexes and fell short of the average stock mutual fund's returns as well as their own more powerful rise in 2009, according to data from the Hennessee Group.[ID:nN07194593]