Foreign assets in US dollar terms topped the list of winners in April among the major asset classes, supported by a weak dollar. The US Dollar Index posted its first calendar-month decline in April (-1.5%) this year, providing a tailwind for foreign stocks and bonds after translating the returns into greenbacks. But the gains in offshore markets was still no match for the US REIT market, which tops the list for April with a hefty 6.7% increase, based on the MSCI REIT Index--the biggest monthly rise for the asset class in more than a year. At the opposite end of the spectrum: commodities, which shed 2.8% last month, according to the Dow Jones-UBS Commodities Index.
With most of the major slices of global markets posting gains last month, it's no surprise that broad diversification across asset classes performed handsomely too. The market-value weighted Global Markets Index (GMI) earned a healthy 2.3% total return in April—the best month since last June. For the year so far, GMI is ahead by 6.2%.
Correction: The table above was initially published with incorrect data for foreign high yield bonds--an error that has since been corrected, including a slight reordering of the monthly performance ranking.