• Key market indices
    • S&P 500: 3768.26 -1.48%
    • DJIA: 30814.27 -0.91%
    • HSI: 28573.86 +2.50%
    • STI: 3004.87 +0.39%
    • Gold Spot $/Oz: 1827.64 -1.13%
    • Brent Crude: 52.11 -0.94%
    • Bitcoin: 35011.91 -8.28%
  • Hedge funds enjoy biggest first-quarter gains in 20 years, as event driven and equity strategies fuel returns (Link)
    • Hedge funds have gained more than 6% in the three-month period to the end of March, with returns powered by a mix of successful calls on deep value equities amid accelerated volatility, renewed economic optimism and soaring cryptocurrencies.
    • Overall, event driven hedge fund managers led the pack, gaining 1.85% in March to put their first quarter return at 8.21%.
    • Quantitative directional strategies added more than 5% last month, while energy and basic materials-focused strategies rose 2.56%, putting them up almost 13% for the quarter thanks to surging commodities markets earlier in the year
  • Quants are getting ready to pounce on China's Commodity Boom (Link)
    • Trend-following hedge funds in Europe and the U.S. are waiting in the wings as China opens up its futures markets in everything from coal and soybeans to silver.
    • These quantitative traders are looking to ride the momentum of hard and soft commodities in the world’s second-largest economy after policy makers eased access for foreigners in November.
    • While individual contracts still have to be approved for trading, speculative investors see new opportunities to generate big returns in assets hitched to the Asian nation’s business cycle.
  • Investors earmark further cash for bitcoin allocations (Link)
    • A survey of 50 institutional investors and 50 wealth managers with a combined $110 billion in assets, conducted in January, found that European investors anticipate growth in bitcoin's valuation over the next two years.
    • Respondents said bitcoin is also attractive as it can provide a tail hedge against excess monetary supply and the risk of decline in the value of government-backed currencies caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
    • Commissioned by cryptoassets hedge fund firm Nickel Digital Asset Management, the survey also showed that over the next two years 81% of respondents expect an increase in corporations using bitcoin for their treasury reserves.
  • Apple's stock price does not reflect the 12% upside offered by its growing autonomous-vehicle ambitions, UBS says (Link)
    • The analysts have a price target of $142 for Apple, a roughly 12% gain from current levels. In a recent note, the analysts said their price target reflects Apple's autonomous vehicle opportunity.
    • UBS noted that there are increasing signs that Apple is working on autonomous vehicle technology. For example, Apple was recently granted a patent for VoxelNet, a technology that could be used for AVs, the analysts said.
    • "Although the application could have a myriad of uses, we find the use of the word 'vehicle' in the patent claim along with prior research published by Apple as important clues around the company's commercial intentions," said UBS.
  • BlackRock raises $4.8 billion for renewable power fund (Link)
    • BlackRock Inc. has raised $4.8 billion for a new fund to invest in renewable power assets around the world - almost double its initial target.
    • The fund seeks to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns with positive and measurable environmental and social impact by investing across the spectrum of renewable power and supporting infrastructure globally, including energy storage and distribution and electrified transport.
    • Its opportunity set reflects the evolving renewable energy market as well as investors' growing interest in investments that support the transition to a low carbon economy.
  • Further gains for healthcare fund Rhenman as jobs recovery boosts medical insurance stocks (Link)
    • Its flagship healthcare-focused hedge fund finished the first quarter up 5.56%, as a rotation into cyclical equities which stand to gain from the economic recovery underpinned March’s positive returns.
    • The Rhenman Healthcare Equity Long/Short strategy advanced 3.6% in its main euro-denominated IC1 share class last month.
    • The Stockholm-based strategy - which trades a range of small, medium and large pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical technology and services stocks – also took profits from successful bets on pharma, med-tech and service sub-sectors, though biotech positions detracted from performance.

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