Hedge-fund emerging-market assets hit fresh high

Emerging markets faced plenty of headwinds in 2019

Emerging-market assets held by hedge funds rose to a fresh high in the second quarter in spite of market headwinds (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/emerging-market-shares-give-up-2019-gain-in-global-equity-rout-2019-08-14), according to an industry report out Thursday (https://www.hedgefundresearch.com/).

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 which gained about 18% in that period.

Read:Hedge-fund assets hit a new record high in the first half (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hedge-fund-assets- hit-a-new-record-high-in-the-first-half-2019-07-19)

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."

See: Life, liberty and the pursuit of returns: There's an ETF for that (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/life-liberty- and-the-pursuit-of-returns-theres-an-etf-for-that-2019-08-22)

-Andrea Riquier; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

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  08-22-19 1318ET
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