Foreign equity fund indices post strongest gains

par The IJ Staff | February 02 2018 01:30PM

Twenty-four of the 44 fund Morningstar Canada Fund Indices increased in January, with nine of them increasing by 2.0 per cent or more. Eighteen of the 20 losing indices decreased by 1.6 per cent or less.                          

The Morningstar Canada Fund Indices measure the aggregate returns of funds in various standard categories. Highlights from Morningstar's January preliminary performance report, released Feb. 2, include an 8.7 per cent increase in the Greater China Equity category. This strong performance for the first month of 2018 follows “its chart-topping 35.9 per cent increase in 2017,” says Morningstar.

Asia Pacific Equity

The fund indices that track the Asia Pacific ex-Japan Equity and Asia Pacific Equity categories, increased 3.5 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively. “While China was the main driver of returns, other markets including South Korea and Japan also contributed positively. The strength of Asian stocks also helped funds in the Emerging Markets Equity category, which collectively increased 5.0 per cent,” says Morningstar.

In the United States, the S&P 500 Index posted a total return of 5.7 per cent. However, the U.S. dollar depreciated by 2.0 per cent against the Canadian dollar, resulting in an increase of 3.6 per cent for the Morningstar U.S. Equity Fund Index.

Worst performers

Meanwhile, domestic equity funds were among the worst-performing equity categories in January for the month, “as the energy sector continued to impede the Canadian market,” says Morningstar. The Canadian Equity Fund Index had the worst result among all diversified equity categories with a 1.4 per cent decrease. The Canadian Dividend & Income Equity and Canadian Small/Mid Cap Equity fund indices also saw decreases of 1.3 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively. The fund indices that track the Canadian Focused Small/Mid Cap Equity and Canadian Focused Equity categories had positive results with 1.8 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively.

To learn more, consult Morningstar's preliminary January 2018 performance data for Canadian funds.