Alternatives | August Commentary

August 31, 2018

 

 

 

 

U.S equities had another strong month, with the S&P 500 setting a new record for the longest bull market. Long/short equity was one of the better performing strategies, as both sector and security selection contributed. Information technology is the top sector exposure for the Fund and both large and small cap companies in the sector did well. Within the broader indices, large cap names were up nearly 7% in aggregate, while small cap names were up more than 9%. Managers with exposure to international equities did not fare as well, as trade continues to weigh on those markets. 

 

Event driven strategies produced solid performance due to news on individual mergers as well as modest overall spread tightening. A widely held health care transaction saw the target company jump more than 6% as regulators indicated they do not believe the combination would impede industry competition. 

 

Relative value strategies produced positive results, as credit related strategies benefited from the decline in interest rates that was accompanied by only small increases in credit spreads. Strong equity markets also contributed to the returns of equity related strategies. 

 

Macro strategies had mixed performance. Discretionary managers struggled with exposure to emerging markets credits and currencies. Systematic macro was the top performing strategy with strong returns from both currency and commodity positioning. Long exposure to energy contributed due to the rally in both oil and natural gas, as did short exposure to metals and agricultural commodities, where all major commodities declined.

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