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Market roundup | Hedge funds post best monthly gain

LiveMint logoLiveMint 08-08-2017 Livemint

Hedge funds in July reported their best monthly returns since the end of 2016, boosted by equity and event-driven strategies.

Funds on average gained 1.05%, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc.’s asset weighted composite index.

Technology-focused equity funds had the best July of any sub-strategy tracked by HFR, returning 2.3%. The performance last month has pushed hedge fund returns in 2017 to 3.7%, compared with 10% for the S&P 500 Index.

Amid the ongoing shift from active to passive investments, firms have struggled to attract investors and have only recently seen inflows return.

July marked a turnaround from the previous month, when hedge funds lost 0.24%, weighed down by macro and event-based strategies. Bloomberg

Iron ore’s back in the black for 2017

Iron ore’s rally in the past two months has been so strong that futures in Singapore are now back in positive territory for 2017. The most-active SGX AsiaClear contract—which at one point was down by almost a third—surged as much as 7.3% to $77.84 a metric tonne on Monday.

The rebound has come as steel mills in China benefit from buoyant steel prices and strong profit margins, which is underpinning demand for ore in the top importer and benefiting miners including Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton Ltd and Vale SA. Bloomberg

Optimism among US small businesses rises in July

A measure of US small-business confidence rose in July, boosted by strong hiring and an improving economic outlook, according to a National Federation of Independent Business report released on Tuesday.

The group’s Index of Small Business Optimism rose to 105.2 from 103.6 in June. The rise was the index’s first since January. Business owners signalled optimism in their ability to expand partly due to a pick-up in consumer spending.

It follows solid hiring activity among small businesses in July as reported by the group last week, and rosy jobs data released by the bureau of labor statistics on Friday. Reuters

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