LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The unlikely combination of Spanish bonds and gold were top best performers during a third quarter of 2012 that was defined by the European Central Bank’s bond-buying euro rescue plan and more money-printing in the United States and Japan.
Soft commodities and the dollar were best avoided in the three months to September, yet most major markets eked out positive gains in a policy-dominated period.
For 2012 so far, however, hard currency emerging market sovereign debt and Asian equities outside Japan stand out with gains of more than 14 percent each.
More generally global equities, emerging markets and gold have all returned more than 10 percent to date. In fact it was hard to remain underwater, with even 10-year U.S. Treasuries and German bunds returning more than four percent.
Country-by-country, Indian and German equity shone. Spain and Portugal remain in the red.
Portugal, Ireland and Hungary are the big sovereign bond stars of the year so far - largely on outsize bouncebacks from from a torrid 2011.
In currencies, you would have done well being long of Mexican pesos and Hungarian forints against the dollar in the year to date, but short of Brazilian real and Argentine pesos.
Healthcare and technology stocks were the best performing equity sectors, while utilities and energy lagged.
Convertible arbitrage and event-driven hedge fund strategies outperformed there. Macro and equity neutral strategies are still in the red on average.
Graphic on Q3: