Commodities Rallied Last Week, Leading Most Markets Higher

Broadly defined commodities topped the winner’s list last week, rising to the highest level since last summer, based on a set of based on a set of exchange-traded products representing the major asset classes. Emerging-market equities were close behind, rising for the third straight week during the five trading days through Feb. 10. Meantime, last week’s losers were limited to foreign bonds (in US dollar terms).

The iPath Bloomberg Commodity ETN (DJP) was clearly in the lead last week, posting a strong 1.9% gain and closing at the highest price since last July.

Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO) was in close pursuit, rising 1.6% — the third weekly advance that lifted the fund to its highest close since the mid-2015.

In the losers circle for last week are three funds targeting various slices of foreign bonds. iShares International High Yield Bond (HYXU) suffered the biggest setback, slumping 1.2%.

The generally positive trading week continued to lift 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 climbed 0.5% last week. The gain marks the third positive weekly total return in a row.


For the one-year return window, emerging-market stocks continue to lead the field. VWO’s total return is a sizzling 36.9% over the trailing 252 trading days through Feb. 10.

In a repeat of last week’s update, government bonds in foreign developed markets remain in last place for one-year performance. SPDR Bloomberg Barclays International Treasury Bond (BWX) is off 2.9%.

GMI.F’s one-year trend remains firmly in the black, posting a strong 17.6% total return through Feb. 10.

For some perspective on what to expect from the major asset classes in the long run, here’s the current monthly estimate for risk premia projections.