Foreign bond markets were in the winner’s circle last week, partly because of the recent slide in the US dollar. The top performer: inflation-linked government bonds ex-US, which posted the strongest gain among the major asset classes, based on a set of exchange-traded products.
SPDR Citi International Government Inflation-Protected Bond (WIP) led the field, posting a 1.3% total return for five trading days through Mar. 24. The advance marks the fund’s second weekly gain and coincides with the third weekly decline in the US Dollar Index.
Last week’s biggest loser: US equities. Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) fell 1.5% last week, the fund’s biggest weekly setback so far this year.
Red ink also weighed on the Global Markets Index (GMI.F). This investable, unmanaged benchmark that holds all the major asset classes in market-value weights dropped 0.4% last week — its second weekly decline in the past three weeks.
For one-year results, emerging-market stocks moved back into the lead. Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO) is up 22.0% for the trailing 12-month window, modestly above the number-two performer — US stocks based on VTI.
Meanwhile, foreign government bonds in developed markets remain in last place in the one-year column. SPDR Bloomberg Barclays International Treasury Bond (BWX) is down 2.3% over the past 12 months through Mar. 24.
GMI.F’s one-year trend, however, is still solidly in positive territory, posting a 10.9% total return through last week’s close vs. a year ago.