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Hedge Funds Down 4.42% in 1st Quarter of 2008; Barclay Hedge Fund Index Drops 2.40% in March

FAIRFIELD, Iowa, April 7, 2008– Hedge funds lost 2.40% in March according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge. The Index is down 4.42% for the year.

“Following a strong recovery in February, hedge funds suffered another setback in March,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge.

“Fear of a collapse at Bear Stearns followed by the euphoria of a Fed bailout created large price swings in the equity markets, and made it a difficult trading month for both bulls and bears.”

Seventeen of Barclay's 18 hedge fund indexes declined in March. The Emerging Markets Index dropped 5.65%, Multi-Strategy fell 3.45%, Healthcare and Biotechnology lost 3.10%, Event Driven was down 2.79%, and Pacific Rim Equities lost 2.50%.

“Losses were wide-spread due to the volatile markets,” says Waksman. “At this point, 78 percent of the hedge funds on our platform have reported a negative return for March.”

The BarclayHedge Fund of Funds Index was down 2.49% in March.

Equity Short Bias Still Going Strong

The BarclayHedge Equity Short Bias Index was up 1.50% in March, and has gained 12.44% for the first quarter of 2008.

“The best-performing hedge fund strategy in 2008 has been shorting the market,” says Waksman.

“In fact, Equity Short Bias has five straight months of gains, up 21.90% since November 2007, an enviable return in these turbulent times.”

Click here to view five years of Barclay Hedge Fund Index data, or download 11 years of monthly data.

Sol Waksman is an experienced media source, providing perspectives on hedge fund and managed futures trends. For more commentary or background, call 641-472-3456 or email swaksman@barclayhedge.com.

BarclayHedge, formerly known as The Barclay Group, was founded in 1985, and actively tracks more than 6,600 hedge funds, fund of hedge funds, and managed futures programs. Barclay has created and regularly updates 18 proprietary hedge fund indexes and eight managed futures indexes.

Institutional investors, brokerage firms and private banks worldwide utilize Barclay’s data as performance benchmarks for the hedge fund and managed futures industries.