The smartest money in the room is turning bearish

Hedge funds are becoming increasingly bearish, according to a report from Societe Generale’s Cross Asset Research team.

“Starting in December last year, Hedge Fund positioning reveals a further reduction in risk appetite in the early days of 2016,” the note said.

“Falling oil prices, the uncertainty about Chinese growth and its exchange rate policy, as well as the increased market volatility, all seem to touch the open nerve of deflation fears. Independent of whether this particular focus is justified or not, it goes a long way in explaining the current risk aversion.”.

SocGen also put together some charts detailing which asset classes, currencies, and commodities hedge funds are turning negative on. We’ve included them below.

Hedge funds are particularly negative on small caps in the Russell 2000.

Societe Generale Research

They're also becoming more bearish on emerging markets' currencies. Hedge funds are becoming net-long the Swiss Franc, which has been considered a safe haven currency.

Societe Generale Research

Hedge funds net-long positions on crude oil have reached their lowest level since December 2012. Oil fell below $30 a barrel on Tuesday.

Societe Generale Research

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at