LONDON, March 31 Commodities and frontier market
stocks were the best-performing investments in the first quarter
of 2014 while Shanghai and Tokyo shares as well as copper are at
the bottom of the league table.
The Reuters-Jefferies CRB commodity index, made up
of 19 key commodities, rose 9 percent. The gains came after the
index's 5 percent drop last year attracted many investors.
Gold has risen 7.3 percent, following a 28 percent drop last
year. Investors turned to the safe-haven asset when tensions
between Russia and the West escalated over Ukraine.
Click on the link to see the graphic on global asset
performance, based in dollars: link.reuters.com/pat75v
The MSCI frontier equity index rose 7.2
percent, with buoyant growth in newly developing economies
spurring portfolio inflows. It also benefited from investors
shifting out of major emerging markets, which have been hit by a
stimulus wind-down from the Federal Reserve.
Italy's 10-year government bonds rose 7 percent,
beating German and U.S. counterparts.
High-yielding peripheral euro zone debt has been rallying
thanks to the region's recovering economies, with Italian yields
hitting 8-1/2 year lows of 3.261 percent on Friday.
Concerns over China have weighed on many markets geared
specifically towards the world's second biggest economy.
Copper was the biggest victim as it bucked other
commodities to fall nearly 10 percent. The metal hit a 3-1/2
year low this month after a bond default by a Chinese solar
panel marker stoked fears about more defaults, unravelling
demand for copper as collateral in financial deals.
Tokyo's Nikkei index fell 7.2 percent on a dollar
basis to become the second worst performer in the past three
One of the top investments in 2013, the Nikkei unwound some
of last year's 30 percent gains as the economic slowdown in
emerging partners and caution over a sales tax hike in Japan
pushed investors away from risky assets.
Performance in emerging markets was mixed in a quarter of
significant volatility. Emerging dollar and local currency debt
both eked out gains, but emerging stocks fell 1.4
(Reporting by Natsuko Waki; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)