US market rally boosts hedge fund performance, hits macro strategies in November

By Carolina Mandl

NEW YORK (Reuters) -A U.S. market rally in equities and bonds in November led global hedge funds to post their best monthly performance since January, although it caused losses to bearish macro strategies, data provider Hedge Fund Research (HFR) said on Thursday.

Overall, the hedge fund industry posted gains of 2.2% in November and is up 4.35% in the year, HFR said.

“Hedge fund performance jumped in November as economic data showed a welcome decline in inflation, resulting in falling bond yields, and surging equity and cryptocurrency markets, as investors positioned for the conclusion of the Federal Reserve interest rate increasing cycle,” the data provider said in a statement.

Equity hedge funds led the industry performance among all four strategies tracked by HFR and rose 4.1% in November. Still, they lagged the S&P 500, which had its biggest monthly rise in over a year last month, up 8.9%.

Event-driven hedge funds, which bet on merger activity and activist campaigns, rose 3.6% last month. They are the year’s best-performing category, with gains of 6.4%.

Relative value hedge funds, which explore asset price dispersion, rose 1.5% in the month, with 5.6% in gains in the year.

Surprised by the markets rally, macro hedge funds were the sole strategy to post losses in November, down 1.6% in the month and 1.8% year-to-date.

“Macro strategies declined in November as interest rates and commodities fell while risk tolerance increased,” said HFR. Computer-driven or systematic trading strategies focused on macro trends led the losses.

(Reporting by Carolina Mandl in New YorkEditing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis)