Across-The-Board Gains For Major Asset Classes Last Week

Global markets posted gains in every broad category last week, based on a set of exchange-traded products. Leading the field higher: stocks in emerging markets, closely followed US real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO) topped the winners list for the second straight week. The ETF’s 2.7% gain lifted the fund to its highest close in nearly a decade.

US REITs delivered the second-strongest performance over the five trading days through Aug. 25. Vanguard REIT (VNQ) has been trading in a tight range this year, but last week’s 2.0% pop was the ETF’s best weekly advance since March.

The weakest performance among the major asset classes last week: broadly defined commodities, which posted a fractional gain. iPath Bloomberg Commodity (DJP) edged up a mere four basis points.

For one-year returns, VWO regained the lead, posting a 20.0% total return through Aug. 25. The advance represents a modest premium over the number-two performer for the trailing 12-month window: Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets (VEA), which is ahead by 16.9%.

Broadly defined commodities remain in last place for one-year results among the major asset classes. DJP is off 2.3% as of last week’s close vs. the year-earlier price.