Bank of America Merrill Lynch is out with its latest Hedge Fund Monitor report and the company estimates that long/short equity funds are now 35% net long. This is an increase in equity exposure because over the past few weeks, hedge funds had reduced equity exposure. Additionally, its exposure is primarily focused on large caps and we've highlighted countless times that numerous high quality large caps are undervalued.
Recent hedge fund moves across various asset classes include reduced long positions in soybean and corn, but increased stakes in wheat longs. In forex, managers were buying the Euro, selling the dollar, and buying the Japanese yen (now a crowded long). This is intriguing because last week we saw a hedge fund shorting the yen.
In metals, hedgies sold gold and copper but continued to hold silver and palladium. Copper is a crowded long so the selling has been counter-trend while the selling in gold has dragged on for some time now.
Here are summaries of the recent moves across fund strategies:
Long/Short Equity: Increased equity exposure as of late, back close to historical average levels of 35% net long; mainly favoring large caps across the board (both high quality and growth).
Market Neutral Funds: Maintained 4% net long exposure, raising inflation exposure and favoring small caps.
Global Macro: These hedge funds continued to buy U.S. equities and emerging markets, the latter of which is now a crowded long position.