October was a supportive month for Global Macro funds, which almost erased their year to date losses in a single month. According to LyxorAM's Cross Asset Research team, the top contributors to their stellar performance last month included a short duration stance in fixed income and long positions on the USD vs. EUR and GBP in FX. Meanwhile, for Macro managers investing in equities, their preference for European and Japanese equities vs. US equities also paid off in October.
With regards to Event-Driven, Lyxor noted that the strategy underperformed on the last week of October (-0.3%) and is down almost 1% last month. "It is not surprising to see the strategy in the red when 10-year Treasury yields jump 25 bps in a month, as it has historically been negatively correlated to bond yields. But most managers were fairly resilient despite the adverse market conditions." They state.
Going forward, the team maintains their slight overweight stance on Event-Driven, with a continued preference for merger arbitrage players. "We believe that the strategy can cope with higher bond yields as its net exposure to both equities and bonds has continued to decrease lately. Managers have thus ample room to deploy capital as opportunities arise. And in that regard, Bloomberg data suggests that October was one of busiest months ever for global M&A activity."
Announced M&A deals represented more than USD 470bn (applies to deals with a transaction value above USD 400m). US M&A activity represented 60% of the total, and the media sector has been the most active thanks to deals such as the USD 107bn proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. Yet, ahead of US elections most Event Driven managers stayed cautious and waiting for greater political clarity before deploying their capital. "The strategy is thus likely to be resilient if equity volatility continues to rise, which would lead to wider deal spreads and open the door for cash deployment." They conclude.