NASHVILLE, Tenn. (HedgeWorld.com)–After opening 2005 on a down note, hedge funds tracked by the Van Global Hedge Fund Index posted positive returns in February.

Preliminary results showed gains in all strategies, Van officials said in a news release. For the month, hedge funds earned 1.7%, putting them at 1.6% for the first two months of the year. Eighty percent of the funds that have reported to Van Hedge Fund Advisors International LLC saw positive performance in February.

“February was a good month for hedge funds,” Van Chairman George Van said in a statement.

Based on the early results, Mr. Van said, managers employing emerging markets, macro and value strategies had the best performance in February.

In a news release, Van officials pointed to an equity market rally last month as one factor that contributed to hedge funds’ gains. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index gained 2.1% in February, while the MSCI World Equity Index rose 3% and the Dow Jones Europe Stoxx 50 rose 4.2%. None of those indexes’ year-to-date returns matches the 1.6% that the Van Global Hedge Fund Index has turned in for the first 59 days of 2005.

Updated numbers for the Van index, which will include more funds, will be available in mid-March, and final results will be available at the end of the month, Van officials said.

CClair@HedgeWorld.com

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com”>.