September has proven to be an upbeat month for a number of financial trading venues as well as markets, with volatility having returned in full after several tranquil trading months. Another area that performed positively was hedge funds – according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, hedge funds gained 0.81% in September.
Overall, 2016 has been a strong year as well for the Barclay Hedge Fund Index, with a YTD performance of 4.26%. Extrapolated over a monthly basis, 16 of 17 of Barclays’ hedge funds registered gains in September 2016. Leading the charge was the group’s Healthcare and Biotechnology Index, having notched an advance of 5.39%, its highest one-month gain since January of 2014.
A few other highlights of Barclays’ comprehensive hedge fund index was its Technology Index, which climbed 1.86% MoM in September – in addition, its distressed securities were 1.11% higher MoM, the equity long bias gained 0.89% MoM, and Emerging Markets (EM) added 0.90% MoM.
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The one losing sector across Barclays’ composite of hedge funds in September was the Global Macro Index, having incurred a decline of -0.53% MoM.
YTD, a total of 12 of Barclay’s hedge fund indices have reaped positive returns leading up to September 30, 2016. Over this period, EM has been the best performing index, up 10.08% YTD, the Event Driven Index has climbed 8.56%, Distressed Securities moved 8.31% higher, the Technology Index has gained 4.64%, and Convertible Arbitrage is up 4.10% YTD.
Exceptions to this trend were Barclays’ European Equities index, down -4.95% YTD, the Global Macro Index, down 1.40% YTD, while the Pacific Rim Equities dropped -1.36% YTD, and Equity Market Neutral lost -0.81% YTD.
Lastly, the aggregated Barclay Fund of Funds Index did edge higher by 0.48% in September 2016, though it remains down -1.19% YTD.
According to Sol Waksman, founder and President of BarclayHedge, in a recent statement on the index performance: “Although surprises from major central banks whipsawed financial markets, most hedge fund strategies found a path to profitability in September.”