One-third of the way into 2017, hedge funds are performing well, returning +0.66% in April and +3.04% year-to-date (YTD), according to the just-released April 2017 eVestment Hedge Fund Performance Report. All major strategies were positive in April, and only one primary market, commodities, produced negative results.
Equity strategies were among the big winners in April. Event Driven-Activist strategies led the pack with +2.03% returns in April and +3.70% YTD. Activist strategies have seen strong returns going back to 2016, with +13.24% returns for the past 12 months and overall performance of +11.74% for the full year 2016.
Some other interesting points from the report include:
Commodities funds posted their third consecutive loss in April, with -0.95% performance for the month, bringing YTD performance down to -1.87%. The universe is the most negative of any asset class or primary strategy in 2017.
Among primary markets, Volatility/Options Strategies were the strongest performers, bringing in +1.52% returns in April, with +3.16% YTD.
India-focused hedge funds are proving to be big winners so far this year, with returns of +4.45% in April and YTD performance at +19.55%.
Russia-focused funds, a big winner in 2016 with +30.05% returns for the year, are lagging so far in 2017, returning +2.58% in April and only +5.18% YTD.
China-focused funds appear to be breaking their 2016 losing streak, when they returned -5.79% for the year. In April of this year, China-focused funds returned +1.14% and YTD performance stands at +10.56%.