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Hedge Funds Fell 0.75%, Worst First-Half Performance

Bloomberg – Hedge funds turned in their worst first-half performance in almost two decades as the collapse of subprime-mortgage bonds and rising commodity prices pushed stocks to the brink of a bear market.

Hedge funds declined by an average 0.7 percent in June, bringing the year-to-date loss to 0.75 percent, data compiled by Hedge Fund Research Inc. show. It’s the worst start to a year since the Chicago-based firm began tracking returns in 1990. The $1.9 trillion industry has posted one losing year, in 2002, when funds fell 1.45 percent amid the 23 percent decline by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Managers attracted a net $16.5 billion during the first three months of the year, down from $30.4 billion in the fourth quarter, Hedge Fund Research reported. Investors have become less tolerant of losses and are shifting assets to traders who have shown they can thrive in turbulent markets, said Antonio Munoz, who runs EIM Management USA in New York, which farms out $15 billion to hedge funds.

“We don’t see investors pulling the plug across the board and putting their capital into cash,” Munoz said.

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