Preqin’s preliminary benchmarks show that hedge funds started the year on a positive note, posting net returns of 2.49% in January. Asia-Pacific-focused funds enjoyed a particularly encouraging month, returning 4.14% to build on the 3.10% posted in December. Funds targeting North America also saw better returns than in the previous month, gaining 2.91% in January following a rise of 1.29% in December. The return of 1.86% posted by Europe-focused funds represents the benchmark’s best month for a year, while emerging markets funds made it eight consecutive months of positive performance with a gain of 2.40%.
All major hedge fund strategies generated positive returns for investors in January. Preqin’s long/short benchmark was the top performing strategy in January, with average returns of 2.92%. Long bias vehicles were key contributors to this, benefitting from strong equity markets to gain 3.14%. Event driven funds posted 1.88% in January, while preliminary figures suggest that multi-strategy vehicles also performed well, returning 2.86%. Relative value funds gained 1.54% to record the strategy’s best single month for more than three years. Macro funds lagged other strategies in January with a return of 0.98%.
Preqin’s early benchmarks show that CTA vehicles experienced a third consecutive month of positive returns to gain 1.77% in January. USD-denominated CTAs performed particularly well (+2.03%) while EUR-denominated vehicles made modest gains (0.75%).
Funds of hedge funds also started 2013 positively, gaining 2.10% in the first month of the year. Unsurprisingly, funds of long/short hedge funds contributed significantly (+2.27%) to multi-manager returns, outperforming multi-strategy funds of funds (+1.65%).