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NY Hedge Fund Loses 6% Due to Japan Bets

Mar 10, 2014
Jing Chen

Balestra Capital Partners, the hedge fund firm launched by former Olympic fencer Jim Melcher, experienced its worst month in nearly four years.

The Wall Street Journal reported that New York-based Balestra lost more than 6% last month due to bullish bets Japanese stocks and against the yen. The fund is down about 9% in the first two months of this year, after returning 8% in 2013.

While many hedge funds made money in 2013 using the “long Nikkei, short yen” trade, this year saw a reversal of that trend. The article stated that the Nikkei fell 7% this year and the yen has strengthened against the dollar.

Melcher, who competed in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, founded Balestra in 1979. Balestra currently manages about $1.5 billion in assets, although it had about $2.2 billion in AuM at its peak.


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