Global short-bias funds lag in price performance this year

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(Reuters) – Global mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that have net short positions in assets including stocks and commodities are the worst performers this year, according to Refinitiv data.

The retail trading frenzy, hopes of U.S. stimulus measures and vaccine roll-outs have lifted prices in several assets and pushed global stocks to record highs.

According to Refinitiv Lipper data, the short-bias funds have declined 10.2% on average and their fund value fell to $26.9 billion at the end of January, from $29.5 billion at the end of 2020.

Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bear 3X Shares and MicroSectors US Big Oil Index -3X Invrs Lev ETN were the worst performers in the list, shedding over 40% each.

Graphics: Short-bias worst performers –

Global equity markets have rallied this year, with the MSCI world equity index touching a fresh all-time high on Wednesday.

Brent crude, which lost more than a fifth of its value last year, has climbed 18.5% so far this year, supported by producer supply cuts and hopes that vaccine rollouts will drive a recovery in demand.

Graphics: Best performing short-bias funds –

Meanwhile, the data showed big gains in funds that invest in energy and biotechnology sectors. MSCI World Energy index has risen about 10% this year, while MSCI World Biotechnology index has added 4.3% this year.

Graphics: Top performers among assets –

Reporting By Patturaja Murugaboopathy

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