Equity mutual funds fell back on average in January on the back of volatile world stock markets whil...
Equity mutual funds fell back on average in January on the back of volatile world stock markets while bond funds posted a rise in value last month, according to figures from Lipper.
Overall, equity unit trusts and Oeics in the IMA sector fell by an average of 0.42% in January, their first negative returns since September 2001. Bond funds were up by an average of 1.05% for the month, seeing a recovery from their average fall of 1.9% in December last year.
The Far East ex Japan sector was the best performer of all sectors, returning 5.95% during January, followed by the Global Emerging Markets sector which was up 5.73%.
The Technology and Telecoms sector was the worst performer, falling 4.58% during January while the Japan sector saw a fall of 4.42%. Brian Harvey, head of research at Lipper, said: 'While equity markets have taken a dip in January after three months of positive growth, it is probably a symptom of the volatility of markets at the moment, as opposed to anything more sinister. Analysts are still looking to a recovery in the latter half of 2002 and, with that in mind, investors should not be doing anything hasty with their investments.'
Among equity funds, the best return for the month came from Old Mutual Thailand, which was up 20.94% in January although it is the worst performer out of all UK mutual funds over five years, down 56.37%. The Merrill Lynch Gold & General fund was the second best performer in January, up 18.66%.
The UK Corporate Bond sector was the best of the bond sectors, up 1.72% and was also the best-performing UK-invested IMA sector. The best performing bond fund in January was the M&G Emerging Markets Bond fund which was up 4.84%.
The worst performer was Jupiter Preference, down 4.83%. Lipper added that the buoyant UK property market has led to the best monthly returns in the IMA property sector for a year. During January, the sector returned 1.8%, compared with the last best month, January 2001, which saw a return of 2.76%.
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