Macro Hedge Funds Turn In Banner Year in Volatile Market

Hedge funds that bet on macroeconomic shifts have been a rare bright spot in a dismal market, racking up their highest returns in years on the back of some of the biggest interest-rate and currency moves in decades.

So-called macro firms such as Bridgewater Associates and Brevan Howard Asset Management, which try to anticipate moves across financial markets such as the direction of interest rates, currencies, equities and commodities, are enjoying double-digit gains at a time when both stocks and bonds are swooning and gold has dropped, too. The S&P 500 is down a total 22.7% so far this year, including dividends, and hedge funds on average have lost about 4% for the year through Sept. 23, according to early estimates.

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