Hedge funds held a record $239.3 billion, according to the HFR Emerging Markets Hedge Fund Industry Report. That’s up $5.3 billion compared to the first quarter of this year.
Performance was strong, as well: the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index, the leading benchmark of global hedge fund performance covering all strategies and regions, gained 7.8% in the year through July. That was the strongest start to a calendar year since 2009. The HFRI Emerging Markets (Total) Index gained 8.6% in that time. That lags the performance of the S&P /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.05% which gained about 18% in that period.
The best strategy index during this period was HFRI’s EM: Russia/Eastern Europe Index, which jumped 15.9% through July.
That’s happening even as risks to emerging markets remain elevated, HFRI noted in a release: “the Chinese Renminbi fell, the US lowered interest rates, and global economic growth turned mixed across both emerging and developed markets.”