For the month, 52% of all closed-end funds (CEFs) posted net-asset-value (NAV)-based returns in the black, with 40% of equity CEFs and 62% of fixed income CEFs chalking up returns in the plus column. For the sixth month in a row, Lipper's domestic equity CEFs (+1.16%) macro-group outshined its two equity-based brethren: world equity CEFs (+1.11%) and mixed-assets CEFs (-1.02%). Given the continued rise in crude oil prices and select commodities, it wasn't surprising to see the Natural Resources CEFs classification (+8.98%) move to the top of the equity leaderboard for the month, followed by Energy MLP CEFs (+7.12%) and Utility CEFs classification (+3.44%).
For the first month in three, the municipal debt CEFs macro-group outpaced the other macro-groups in the fixed income universe, posting a 2.00% return on average, followed by world income CEFs (-0.31%) and domestic taxable bond CEFs (-1.90%). Fixed income investors focused on attractive opportunities in the municipal debt market and a slight drop in Treasury yields during the month. For the first month in 11, investors pushed Corporate Debt BBB-Rated CEFs (+0.27%, April's laggard) to the top of the domestic taxable fixed income leaderboard, followed by Corporate Debt BBB-Rated CEFs (Leveraged) (-0.07%) and U.S. Mortgage CEFs (-0.73%).
For May, the median discount of all CEFs narrowed 52 basis points (bps) to 7.48%-wider than the 12-month moving average median discount (3.99%). In this report, we highlight May 2022 CEF performance trends, premiums and discounts, and corporate actions and events.
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