Financial services hedge funds were among the poorest performers in January while other funds rebounded from last year's lackluster returns, according to a well-known hedge consultant.

Financial hedge funds eked out a 0.51% net return in January, compared with a 4.89% return for technology hedge funds and a 12.3% return for communications hedge funds, said George P. Van, a consultant who heads Van Hedge Fund Advisors International Inc., Nashville.

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