Hedge funds finished 2019 on a high note in December, posting an industrywide 1.73% return for the month, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. By comparison, the S&P 500 Total Return Index was up 3.02% in December.
For the year, the hedge fund industry gained 10.70%, the largest annual return since 2013 when the Index gained 11.12%. The S&P 500 Total Return Index posted a 31.49% return in 2019.
All but one hedge fund index was in the black in December as a number of positive economic developments offset the impact of negative indicators.
“Equity markets finished the year strong, with U.S. stocks enjoying their best year since 2013 when the S&P 500 Total Return Index gained 32.4%,” said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. “Good news on the trade front came in the form of an apparent ‘phase one’ agreement between China and the U.S., as well as U.S. House passage of a revised trade pact with Canada and Mexico. Elsewhere in the world, Japan announced plans for a fiscal stimulus while reports of increased exports from Germany raised hopes of an economic uptick there.”
Among December’s gainers, the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index led the way with a 13.68% return. Other sectors posting solid monthly gains included the Healthcare and Biotechnology Index with a 6.10% return, the Emerging Markets Global Fixed Income Index, up 5.79%, the Emerging Markets Global Equities Index, gaining 3.58%, and the European Equities Index, returning 3.26% in December.
The lone sector in the red for December was the Volatility Trading Index, down 0.10%. The Equity Market Neutral Index and the Volatility Trading Index were the only ones in negative territory for the year, dropping 0.45% and 0.31% respectively.
Posting the biggest one-year gains in 2019 were the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index, up 27.63%, the Healthcare and Biotechnology Index, returning 24.94%, the Technology Index, gaining 19.49%, the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index, returning 19.20%, and the Emerging Markets Global Equities Index, up 16.72%.
For a complete table of BarclayHedge Hedge Fund and Sub-Index results for December, as well as historical returns, click here.
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BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop, currently maintains data on more than 7,100 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.
BarclayHedge division of Backstop Solutions Group