Hedge fund liquidations outpaced launches for the fourth consecutive quarter, data released Friday from Hedge Fund Research show.
HFR said 186 managers liquidated their funds in the second quarter, compared to 213 in the first quarter and 215 in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Hedge fund launches, meanwhile, totaled 153 in the quarter ended June 30, 136 in fourth quarter of 2018 and 111 in the third quarter.
In the second quarter of 2018, 148 hedge funds were created and 125 funds closed.
Launches in the second quarter were the most since the first quarter of 2018, when 158 hedge funds launched. The first quarter of 2019 and fourth quarter of 2018 had seen the lowest numbers of hedge fund launches since the fourth quarter of 2008, when 56 hedge funds opened for business. The fourth quarter of 2008 also saw the highest-ever liquidation pace, with 778 hedge funds closing, HFR data showed.
"Early 2019 risk-on trends moderated through midyear on increased political and economic uncertainty, including Brexit, uncertain trade negotiations, competitive currency devaluations and persistently negative interest rates," said Kenneth J. Heinz, president of HFR, in a news release announcing the data. "As this uncertainly has increased, hedge fund launches have also increased as investors position for additional shifting in macroeconomic and geopolitical financial market environment."