UPDATE 1-Hedge fund Man Group's assets rise 3 pct in first quarter on net inflows

inflows@ (Adds detail on performance, background)

LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) - Man Group, the world's largest listed hedge fund, said on Thursday that net inflows of $4.8 billion in the first quarter helped funds under management rise 3 percent in the first three months of 2018, despite performance losses.

Total assets under management hit $112.7 billion at the end of March, up from $109.1 billion at Dec. 31, the British group said in a statement.

"We continued to see client demand for our alternative risk premia strategies and saw flows returning to our European long short strategy, following a sustained period of improved performance," Chief Executive Officer Luke Ellis said.

Assets rose modestly compared to a year ago, when Man Group's assets increased 10 percent in the first quarter after net inflows and positive market moves.

The group's strategies lost $1.8 billion from negative performance in the first three months of 2018, with the biggest losses in quantitative and Japan-focused strategies. The Japan Core Alpha Equity Fund lost 7 percent.

CEO Ellis had said in February that recent market moves had affected the group's investment performance in some areas, particularly for momentum strategies.

However, some long-only and long-short strategies generated returns, such as the GLG European Long Short Fund, which made a gain of 3.8 percent.

Assets rose mainly in alternative risk premia but also due to the launch of a $400 million European credit fund and modest flows into computer-driven and discretionary long-only strategies. (Reporting by Maiya Keidan, editing by Sinead Cruise and Susan Fenton)