Oil well pumps sit in the yard at Wood Energy Inc on January 20, 2015 in Woodlawn, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP
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Almost four-fifths of active fund managers in the U.S. high-yield bond market failed to beat the benchmark last year, as the sharp fall in oil prices weighed heavily on the U.S. energy sector.Energy companies account for 15 percent of U.S. high-yield issuance.Last in that list was Aegis, a Virgina-based asset manager running a small $31 million concentrated high-yield fund, which lost 28.9 percent.The largest U.S. high-yield fund is Capital Group's $19 billion American High-Income trust.It also underperformed over three years, with annualized returns of 7 percent compared with 8.4 percent for its benchmark.The best performer was Fidelity's $10.4 billion Capital & Income fund, which delivered a 6.1 percent return last year. Oleg Melentyev, an analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York, is not so sure. He warns that if oil prices remain depressed and defaults among energy companies increase this could lead to an escalation in defaults across the entire high-yield market.
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