Hedge funds concluded a first quarter that saw gains in all three months, extending a stretch of positive performance in which industry returns rose for 12 of the last 13 months, Hedge Fund Research reported Friday.
The HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index advanced 0.2% in March, topping the performance of both the S&P 500 and DJIA, and bringing year-to-date performance to 2.3%.
“Hedge funds gained in March as the Federal Reserve proceeded with a widely anticipated interest rate increase concurrent with a weakening of the Trump trade, and as U.S. equities concluded a strong first quarter with mixed performance in March,” HFR president Kenneth Heinz said in a statement.
The HFRI index finished 2016 up 5.6%, raising its value to a record 12,966. The March gain extended the index value to 13,252, the fourth consecutive monthly record.
Equity hedge led all strategies in March, up 0.6% and up 3.6% for the year to date, as U.S. equities recorded mixed performance.
HFR reported that the technology, fundamental growth and health care substrategies contributed to the March return, up 2.7%, 1.2% and 1.1%, respectively, while the short bias substrategy lost 1.5%.
Fixed income-based relative value arbitrage strategies also turned up winners in March for the 13th consecutive month, despite the Fed’s rate hike, up 0.5% and up 2.5% for the year.