Citadel gains in January leading early 2023 hedge fund industry returns

FILE PHOTO: Citadel CEO Griffin speaks at 2022 Milken Institute Global Conference

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Ken Griffin’s Citadel extended its winning streak with gains in January, weeks after ending 2022 with a $16 billion gain, the biggest profit ever earned by a hedge fund.

Citadel’s flagship Wellington fund posted a 2.08% increase in January, according to an investor. The fund climbed 4.8% in December and ended 2022 with a 38.1% gain, said the person, who requested anonymity to speak about the private fund’s returns.

Citadel did not tell investors what fueled the gains. They did, however, top early returns from several rivals.

Tiger Global Management gained 2.1%, Point72 Asset Management reported a 1.31% gain in January, while Balyasny Asset Management was up 0.70% in January after having gained 10% last year. Other funds posted small losses. Millennium Management’s International fund was off 0.43%. Representatives for the funds declined to comment.

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After a brutal 2022 when fears of faster-paced interest rate hikes and geopolitical turmoil sent the S&P 500 tumbling 20%, early 2023 offered glimmers of hope for investors. There were signals that the pace of rate hikes may soon slow, which helped spark early gains. Some companies also posted strong earnings.

The S&P 500 gained 6.2% in January while the Nasdaq Composite index climbed 11%

Hedge funds are just now compiling their January numbers, and investors will be informed in the coming days, analysts said. The average hedge fund gained 2.12% through Feb. 2, according to data from Hedge Fund Research. The average hedge fund lost 4.20% last year.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Jonathan Oatis)