Hedge Funds Lose 0.78% in August According to Backstop BarclayHedge; Trade war’s impact, continued Brexit uncertainty and recession fears combine to create a difficult month for investors across most sectors

The hedge fund industry posted negative returns in August, dropping 0.78%, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index, compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. By comparison, the S&P Total Return Index was down 1.58% in August.

Despite the down month, hedge funds remained in positive territory for the year, gaining 6.86% through August 31. The S&P Total Return Index returned 18.35% on the year through August.

August’s hedge fund difficulties were fueled by the usual suspects: the U.S.-China trade war, ongoing no-deal Brexit uncertainty, and recession fears.

“August proved to be a particularly challenging month for investors, with stocks falling as the U.S. and China ratcheted up their tariff battle and both countries experiencing a slowdown in manufacturing,” said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. “Shrinking economies in Germany and the U.K. coupled with the impact of an inverted yield curve helped to bring about August investment results that many might prefer to forget.”

All but a handful of hedge fund sectors were in negative territory for the month. Sectors with positive August returns included the Global Macro Index, returning 2.19% for the month, the Distressed Securities Index, up 1.17%, the Convertible Arbitrage Index, gaining 0.64%, the Merger Arbitrage Index, posting a 0.30% August return, and the Equity Market Neutral Index, up 0.12% on the month.

Among the sectors losing ground in August were the Emerging Markets Latin America Index, down 11.80%, the Emerging Markets Global Fixed Income Index, off 8.37%, the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index down 3.47%, and the Emerging Markets Asian Equities Index, dropping 2.20% in August.

“The U.S.-China trade war continued to pressure emerging markets and a strengthening US dollar increased energy costs and the costs of servicing debt denominated in USD,” said Waksman.

All hedge fund sectors but two remained in positive territory year-to-date through August. Only the Volatility Trading Index, down 1.33%, and the Equity Market Neutral Index, off 0.20%, were in the red for the year.

Among the leading year-to-date gainers were the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index, posting a 16.99% return, the Emerging Markets Eastern Europe Index, up 16.83%, the Technology Index, with a 12.84% gain, Healthcare & Biotechnology up 11.94%, and Emerging Markets Latin American Equities with a 9.86% return year-to-date.

For a complete table of BarclayHedge Hedge Fund and Sub-Index results for August, as well as historical returns, click here.

About Backstop Solutions

Backstop’s mission is to help the institutional investment industry use time to its fullest potential. We develop technology to simplify and streamline otherwise time-consuming tasks and processes, enabling our clients to quickly and easily access, share, and manage the knowledge that’s critical to their day-to-day business success. Backstop provides its industry-leading cloud-based productivity suite to investment consultants, pensions, funds of funds, family offices, endowments, foundations, private equity, hedge funds and real estate investment firms.

BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop, currently maintains data on more than 6,900 hedge funds, funds of funds and CTAs. The BarclayHedge Indices are utilized by institutional investors, brokerage firms and private banks worldwide as performance benchmarks for the hedge fund and managed futures industries.

MEDIA CONTACT: 

Sol Waksman 

BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions Group 

(641) 472-3456 

swaksman@barclayhedge.com