Most Markets Posted Gains Last Week

Global markets were mostly higher last week, led by stocks in emerging markets and the US, based on a set of exchange-traded products representing the major asset classes. The losses were relatively contained, with US real estate investment trusts (REITs) taking the biggest hit.

Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO) posted the biggest gain for the five trading days through Jan 27. The 2.7% advance marks the biggest weekly total return for this slice of the equity market since last July.

US REITs suffered the biggest setback last week among the major asset classes. Vanguard REIT (VNQ) fell 1.0%, leaving the ETF near its lowest level in more than two weeks.

Last week’s bias for higher prices overall lifted an ETF-based version of the Global Markets Index (GMI.F). This investable, unmanaged benchmark that holds all the major asset classes in market-value weights gained 0.8% over the five trading days through Friday.


Emerging-market equities continue to hold the top spot for one-year results as well. VWO is up a strong 33% over the past 12 months. The number-two performer in the one-year column, US stocks, is ahead by a bit more than 26% via Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTI)

In last place for one-year performances: government bonds in foreign developed markets. SPDR Bloomberg Barclays International Treasury Bond (BWX) is up a thin 0.8% for the year through last week’s close.

Meanwhlie, GMI.F continues to post a solid advance for the trailing 12-month period. The benchmark is higher by 14.5% for the one-year change.

For some perspective on what to expect from the major asset classes in the long run, take a look at the current update for risk premia projections.