The major asset classes delivered mixed performances in March.
Stocks in the US and foreign markets fell while US real estate investment trusts (REITs) and foreign inflation-linked government bonds posted the strongest gains.
The MSCI US REIT Index jumped 3.9% in March, the strongest advance for the major asset classes. The increase marks the first monthly gain for securitized real estate (NYSEARCA:IYR) since November and the best gain for the index in nearly two years. Foreign inflation-linked bonds came in second in March’s performance race, rising a healthy 3.1%.
US stocks suffered the biggest loss last month. The Russell 3000 Index (NYSEARCA:IWM) slumped 2.0%, marking the first run of back-to-back monthly declines in over two years. In this year’s first quarter, US equities dipped by a fractional 0.6%.
Due primarily to weakness in equities around the world in March, the Global Market Index (GMI), an unmanaged benchmark that holds all the major asset classes in market-value weights, shed 1.0% in March. GMI’s slide reflects a second consecutive monthly loss, the first time the benchmark has been down for two months in a row since late-2016. For the first quarter, GMI posted a slight 0.3% decline.