Commodities led the way higher last week among the major assets classes, based on a set of exchange-traded products. Close behind: emerging-market stocks, the number-two total-return performer for the five trading days through Jan. 13.
The iPath Bloomberg Commodity ETN (DJP), a broadly defined measure of the asset class, jumped 1.7% last week. The gain edged out of the 1.4% increase for Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO), which posted its third consecutive weekly increase.
Last week’s big loser: real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the US. Vanguard REIT (VNQ) tumbled 2.0% in the second week of January—the first weekly setback since mid-December.
Last week’s results, however, were generally positive overall, providing lift to 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 inched higher by 0.4% for the week.
In the one-year column, widespread gains continue to dominate the major asset classes. The biggest winner is once again emerging-market equities. VWO’s one-year return (based on 252 trading days) is a sizzling 27.2% through Jan. 13.
The only loser for the past year as of Friday: corporate bonds in foreign markets. PowerShares International Corporate Bond (PICB) is off fractionally, slipping roughly 10 basis points for the year through last week’s close.
The overall trend for markets is still solidly positive via GMI.F, which is currently sitting on a strong 13.1% total return for the past year.
For some perspective on what to expect from the major asset classes in the long run, take a look at the current update of risk premia projections.