Emerging-market equities regained the lead last week in the horse race among the major asset classes, based on a set of proxy ETFs. This slice of global stocks has posted weekly gains in seven of the last eight weeks. Meanwhile, broadly defined commodities led the field lower last week, as negative momentum continues to weigh on prices for raw materials.
The Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (NYSEARCA:VWO) earned a 1.7% total return for the five trading days through Sep. 2, the fund's strongest weekly gain in three weeks. VWO is also the top performer among the major asset classes for the year-to-date period, rising 17.5% as of last Friday.
Commodities, by contrast, appear to be suffering from buyer's remorse. The rebound that had been underway in the first half of this year continues to stumble. The reversal that's been in force for much of the summer was again conspicuous last week as DJP dipped 2.5%, the deepest loss among the major asset classes by far for last week.
Overall, a positive tone dominated last week's trading, lifting an ETF-based version of the Global Markets Index (GMI.F), an investable, unmanaged benchmark that holds all the major asset classes in market-value weights. GMI.F gained 0.5% for the week through Sep. 2.
For the trailing one-year window (252 trading days), US real estate investment trusts (REITs) continue to hold the top spot. The Vanguard REIT (NYSEARCA:VNQ) is ahead by a strong 27.5% for the 12 months through Sep. 2, based on a total return calculation.
Meantime, commodities are still in last place for one-year results. DJP has shed nearly 8% for the year through last Friday.
GMI.F, on the other hand, has regained its footing in the one-year column. The benchmark's solid 9.5% total return over the past year marks a performance that's just about midway relative to the full range of one-year results among the major asset classes.