• Key market indices
    • S&P 500: 3943.35 +2.64%
    • DJIA: 32778.65 +3.14%
    • HSI: 28739.72 -1.23%
    • STI: 3095.22 +2.70%
    • Gold Spot $/Oz: 1726.96 +1.64%
    • Brent Crude: 65.57 -1.04%
    • Bitcoin: 57353.16 +12.53%
  • 80% of hedge funds see positive performance in February (Link)
    • The global hedge fund business continued its strong start to 2021 with 80% of funds reporting to eVestment seeing positive performance in February, according to eVestment's just-released February hedge fund performance data.
    • The average positive performance among this large group was +4.51%.
    • Among all hedge fund types eVestment tracks, India-focused funds were the strongest performers in February, returning an average of +7.39% to bring YTD performance to +8.13%. On the other hand, Brazil-focused funds were the weakest performers, with an average return of -3.36% and YTD returns now at -8.56%.
  • Investors turn short on most Asian currencies, cut long bets on yuan sharply: Reuters poll (Link)
    • Investors cut long bets sharply on the Chinese yuan while turning short on most other Asian currencies, a Reuters poll showed, as U.S. economic growth and rising Treasury yields bolstered the dollar.
    • Expectation that the U.S. economic recovery will far outpace the rest of the world has seen Treasury yields on the rise and is giving the dollar an added boost, sapping appetite for emerging market currencies and bonds that traditionally yield more though are considered riskier.
    • Positions on the yuan have remained long since July last year as the world’s second-largest economy emerged from the crutches of the pandemic and was the only major economy to see growth in 2020. The view on the yuan now is on the verge of turning bearish, a fortnightly poll of 13 respondents showed.
    • OCBC Bank’s ‘pressure gauge’, which indexes various factors that influence exchange rates, for Asian currencies is moving into the depreciation zone.
  • Investors feel they've 'missed the boat' on bitcoin gains (Link)
    • Bitcoin's recent bull run is causing more individual investors to consider buying it – yet many also feel they’ve “missed the boat” due to the cyptocurrency’s huge increase in valuation.
    • Nearly 40% felt that traditional assets, such as stocks and shares, were too risky to invest in at present due to the economic downturn caused by Covid-19. This is said to have benefitted cryptocurrency due to its “disassociation with fiat systems of currency”, the report said.
    • However, 55% of respondents said that they have no plans at all to invest in cryptocurrency this year, and a similar amount said they were still more likely to invest money into traditional assets such as gold and equities.
  • Gulf equity markets rise, shrugging off lower crude (Link)
    • Dubai's equities index led gains in the Gulf Sunday as traders focus on the long-term prospect for oil, shrugging off the first week of decline for Brent in two months.
    • The DFM General Index finished 1% higher after the city at the weekend announced an urban plan for the next two decades. Gauges in Saudi Arabia, Adu Dhabi, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar also rose.
    • Stock markets in the Gulf followed an increase for an index tracking emerging-market peers last week, sustaining gains even as crude, the region’s biggest export, posted the first weekly retreat since Jan. 15. Higher oil prices have been fueling gains for shares in the region, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where the main index is trading at the highest level since mid-2015.
  • Commodities hedge fund Westbeck scores double-digit gain, as "dizzing' oil surge set to continue (Link)
    •  The Westbeck Energy Opportunity Fund finished February up 32.8 per cent, and is maintaining its positive momentum in March as oil prices regain pre-pandemic levels and oil equities rebound.
    • The strategy, which launched in 2016, trades oil markets using a long/short directional approach across equities, futures and options.
    • The fund is now up 34.3 per cent in the first two months of the year, having gained more than 80 per cent in 2020.
    • The strategy - co-run by Westbeck co-founders Jean-Louis Le Mee, CIO, and Will Smith, CEO – is now resolutely bullish on oil prices as coronavirus vaccinations accelerate, which they believe will allow economies to re-open in the coming months, and push economic growth and a recovery in oil demand.
    • "We believe that we are at the start of a multi-year bull cycle in commodities and particularly in oil. There is an increasing chance that record oil prices will be reached in the next three years in our view."
  • Quant funds choose Enfusion for investment management technology and managed services (Link)
    • The client wins underscore the growing demand among asset managers and hedge funds for an innovative, cloud-native SaaS investment management framework that is underpinned by a single, golden data set as well as outsourced manpower and insights to lighten and improve the operational load.
    • Enfusion's innovative approach to software and services provides the operational infrastructure, analytics and support that firms like Welton and Dark Forest are now embracing to optimise fund performance, enhance their capabilities and scale their business."

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