Major Asset Classes | May 2011 Performance Update

Bonds in the U.S. and emerging markets, along with REITs posted gains last month while stocks and commodities retreated. That’s no surprise, given the renewed worries for economic growth. Meanwhile, our proprietary Global Market Index (GMI), a passively weighted mix of all the major asset classes, shed 1.1% in May.

Leading the pack last month: the fixed-income sector for emerging countries. The Citigroup ESBI-Capped Index gained 1.6% in unhedged dollar terms—the best performer among the major asset classes. At the opposite extreme: a 5.1% loss for commodities overall, as per the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index. That’s the biggest monthly loss in more than a year for this broadly defined commodities benchmark.
For the year so far through the end of May, the performance columns are still in the black for all the major asset classes and GMI. But risky assets have hit a rough patch and there’s some anxiety about whether the YTD gains will hold.