BOSTON Hedge fund manager John Paulson's returns soared last month as gold rallied and bets on telecommunications and energy companies paid off.
Paulson, whose moves have been closely watched ever since he earned billions on his bet against the overheated housing market, told clients in a letter sent on Thursday that his Advantage Plus fund gained 9.8 percent last month.
Paulson's Advantage fund gained 7 percent in February.
The fund is up 13 percent for the year, according to a person familiar with the numbers, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Gold, a long-time favorite bet at the Paulson's $21 billion hedge fund firm Paulson & Co, last month scored its biggest monthly gain in seven months amid concerns that the U.S. economic growth was slowing.
Gains on investments in banking, financials, insurance and hotels helped push up the firm's Paulson Recovery fund more than 5 percent in February.
Research group Hedge Fund Research's HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index climbed 2.1 percent last month, marking the strongest monthly gain in over a year.
The strong gains in Paulson's Advantage funds stand in contrast to big losses the fund manager suffered in these portfolios in 2011 and 2012.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss, editing by G Crosse)