A broadly defined index of commodities rose for a third straight week, posting the strongest gain among the major asset classes over the five trading days through July 28, based on a set of exchange-traded products. Supported by higher prices for crude oil and gold, commodities overall increased to a two-month high at Friday’s close.
iPath Bloomberg Commodity (DJP), which tracks the the Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return, topped the winner’s list for the major asset classes in the last full week of trading for July. The exchange-traded note popped 2.1%, its strongest weekly advance for the month.
“Strong increases in the price of oil … [were] fueled in large part by the substantial drawdowns in US inventories over the past several weeks,” advises William O’Loughlin, an analyst at Rivkin Securities.
As for everyone’s favorite precious metal, “I think [the market] is cautious about the situation in North Korea and investors tend to go long on gold [at times like these]”, advises Yuichi Ikemizu, the branch manager at ICBC Standard Bank in Tokyo. “I think gold will stay firm this week.”
Last week’s biggest loser among the major asset classes: US investment-grade bonds. Vanguard Total Bond Market (BND) was fractionally lower, slipping 0.1%. The slight setback is BND’s first weekly decline in three weeks.
For one-year results, foreign equities continue to dominate. Holding the top spot again for the trailing 12-month change is Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets (VEA), which is up a strong 19.9%.
Stocks in emerging markets are in close pursuit, posting the second-best one-year gain for the major asset classes. Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO) is ahead by 19.5% for the past year.
US stocks are in third place for one-year return. Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTI) is up 16.5% on a total-return basis as of last week’s close.
Meantime, US real estate investment trusts (REITs) continue to post the biggest one-year setback among the major asset classes. Vanguard REIT (VNQ) is 3.6% for the year through Friday.