Dividends drive best returns as S&P Europe 350 rises again

Arrow up 2Europe’s largest companies measured by the S&P Europe 350 index grew their share prices for a fifth consecutive month in May.

The index had a total return of 1.6% – though half of the month’s gains were wiped out on May 29, likely due in part to disappointment with US GDP, says Tim Edwards, a senior director at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

He adds that the UK provided the most significant news during the month, with equity markets improving when Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party achieved a surprise majority in the election.

In nine out of ten S&P Europe 350 sectors, gains were made during May. Energy was the sole loser, as commodity prices fell.

The S&P Europe 350 Dividend Aristocrats was the best-performing strategy index, returning 3.1%, followed by the S&P Europe 350 Low Volatility Indices with 2.7% for the month.

Momentum came a close third and growth beat value, while asset-allocation strategies came at the bottom of the table.

The S&P Eurozone Sovereign Bond Index struggled throughout the month, falling by 1.8% as yields across the region rose by around 0.20%.

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