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Hedge Funds End Disappointing First Half by Bucking Brexit Pain

  • Average hedge fund gained 0.8% in June, according HFR data
  • Macro funds were top performers in June with 3% gain

The first half is over, and for most hedge funds, it’s good riddance.

After spending the last few months trying to walk back losses in January and February, most hedge funds stayed away from risk-taking in June as U.K. citizens cast votes to leave the European Union. The average hedge fund rose 0.8 percent in June, bringing the gain in the first half of the year to 1.6 percent, according to data released Friday by Hedge Fund Research Inc.

Brexit’s market swings took a toll on event-driven strategies, which fell 0.4 percent in June, and equity funds, which declined 0.3 percent, according to HFR measures. Coatue Management, which had almost retraced losses from early this year, dropped about 2 percent in June, while the publicly traded version of Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management fell 3 percent last month.

Macro hedge funds staged a comeback amid the market turmoil. They were the top performer in June -- advancing 3 percent for the strongest gain since December 2010, according to HFR. Quantitative hedge funds led the macro category, advancing 4.4 percent in June. Computer-driven Abraham Trading Company’s main fund is up 2.6 percent in June and 10.5 percent this year.

“The markets have been wild, and wild markets make people emotional,” said Salem Abraham, president of Canadian, Texas-based Abraham Trading. Models that are based on mathematics and eschew emotion thrive in such markets, he said.

Andurand Capital Management, the $1.2 billion firm known for wagers around oil, lost 2.8 percent in June in its main fund, paring this year’s profits to almost 11 percent, according to an investor who asked not to be named. The losses could have been worse: the firm, which is based in London, is betting the price of oil will rise. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 1.6 percent in June.

Here’s a look at how some firms performed. Spokespeople for the firms either confirmed or declined to comment on the numbers.

Hedge fund

June performance

Year-to-date performance

Abraham Trading Diversified Program+2.6 percent+10.5 percent 
Alken Fund Absolute Return Europe-12.8 percent-18.1 percent
Andurand Commodities Fund-2.8 percent+11 percent
Coatue Qualified Partners-2.2 percent -2.5 percent
Discovery Global Opportunity+0.5 percent*-2.5 percent*
Greenlight Capital-0.3 percent +0.8 percent
Och-Ziff Master Fund-0.9 percent-2.1 percent
Pershing Square Holdings-3.0 percent-20.4 percent
Renaissance Technologies Institutional Diversified Alpha Fund+6.6 percent+11.3 percent
Renaissance Technologies Institutional Equities+4.6 percent+13.8 percent
Third Point Offshore+0.8 percent+2.1 percent 
Viking Global Investors-2.5 percent-5.8 percent

*through June 24

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