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Lyxor briefing reports Global Macro outperformance

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In its weekly briefing Lyxor’s Cross Asset Research team has focused on the possibility of a second rate hike from the Federal Reserve. The team writes that statements from Yell

In its weekly briefing Lyxor’s Cross Asset Research team has focused on the possibility of a second rate hike from the Federal Reserve. The team writes that statements from Yellen and Fisher left open the possibility of a rate hike as soon as September 21st, when the FOMC meet next.

“However, the decision is not straightforward considering the disappointing US GDP growth figures in H1-16 and the associated falling labour productivity. Financial markets remain somewhat unconvinced but at the same time they cannot ignore the Fed guidance. As a result, short dated Treasury yields moved higher and the USD appreciated against major currencies.”
 
Market movements related to the new Fed guidance had a differentiated impact on hedge fund strategies, Lyxor found, with CTAs underperforming as a result of their long fixed income and short USD positions. “Meanwhile, Global Macro managers outperformed. They benefited from their long USD positions, a stance they have maintained for some time on the back of the growth divergence thesis between the US and the rest of the world.
 
“Interestingly, most funds within each strategy share the same stance on the USD (i.e. most CTAs in our sample are short USD and most Global Macro are long USD). But there is a much wider disagreement across Global Macro managers on US fixed income. The aggregate exposure of Macro managers on the asset class is close to zero, but at the fund level we see approximately half of the managers being long US bonds and another half being short. That reflects the conflicting signals on the US economy. A vibrant job market has fuelled household consumption but this is not reflected in GDP numbers. Economic expansion was actually pulled back in H1-16 by declining capex as companies are not investing to expand production capacities.
 
“All in all, we tend to be rather in favour of the CTA stance. We believe that the Fed is unlikely to move as soon as September. There are simply too many uncertainties regarding the strength of the US economy to act now. The Fed will probably err on the side of caution in our view and the USD upward pressure may abate, a support for CTAs over Macro funds.”

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