Hedge funds fall 5.9% in first half of the year

Global indices are displayed on a screen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City
Global indices are displayed on a screen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 19, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters) - Hedge funds posted a negative performance in June, bringing losses this year to almost 6%, as volatility across markets accelerated, a report by hedge fund data provider HFR showed on Friday.

The fund weighted composite index fell 3.08% last month. All main four different hedge fund categories tracked by HFR - equity, event-driven, macro and relative value - posted losses in June.

"Powerful risk off trends accelerated in June driving extreme financial market volatility with hedge funds trading through a wide range of risks including not only generational inflation, increasing interest rates, the continuation of the Russia/Ukraine war and record energy price increases, but also the increased likelihood of a consumer-led US economic recession," Kenneth J. Heinz, president of HFR said in a statement.

Equity hedge funds, mainly those invested in growth stocks, whose valuations rely more heavily on future cash flows, have been the hardest hit by market volatility. They went down 12.3% in the first half of the year, but outperformed the S&P 500, which fell roughly 20%.

Macro hedge funds, however, were still in positive territory for the first half of the year, up 8.98%, although they fell 0.42% last month. Macro managers trade a broad range of assets, such as bonds, currencies, rates, stocks and commodities.

Despite a bumpy road last month, some macro managers were able to post double digit gains for the year. Rokos Capital Management's macro fund was down 4% in June, but its performance this year is still positive by 12%, according to two sources.

AQR Capital Management told investors its global macro strategy fund rose 23.1% through June, as it benefited from an environment of surging inflation and tightening monetary policy, sources said.

Bridgewater Associates, which was up 32.2% in the first half of the year, although it faced some losses in trading of inflation-linked bonds and emerging markets currencies. read more

HFR said hedge funds' performance has diverged a lot this year. Funds in the top decile of the so-called HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index gained 34.6% on average, while the bottom decile fell 32.2%.

Gains, however, were limited to 37% of the funds, HFR added.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio

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