With uncertainty set to continue, commodities was the most searched-for asset class among private markets in january, writes Sean Thompson.
Although recent vaccine approvals have raised hopes of a turnaround in the Covid pandemic this year, renewed waves and new variants of the virus cast a shadow over the outlook. After a bright start, January ended on a gloomy note. Whilst there may be light at the end of the tunnel, financial markets look set to be affected by ever-changing news flows.
As a result, the volatility and uncertainty of 2020 continues into the new year. However, against this backdrop, investors continued to carry out search activity in CAMRADATA Live, either to seek out new managers or monitor existing investments using peer group analysis to compare and rank asset manager performances.
The best-performing asset classes in January 2021 were found in emerging markets, commodities and small-caps. Fixed income government bonds in the main generated negative returns, while high yield ended the month as the best-performing asset class in fixed income.
Managers in the top searched asset classes included Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Limited for Japan Equity, Guggenheim Investments for US loans, Aberdeen Standard Investments for global tactical asset allocation, and LGT Capital Partners for private equity.
Although there may still be a lack of clarity about the short term, longer-term prospects for businesses and markets are not necessarily clouded by the same uncertainty. If the fight against Covid-19 is largely won in 2021, we can expect many businesses to see their earnings grow once more.
However, this still may not be the time for excessive optimism or risk-taking!
Sean Thompson is managing director of CAMRADATA, the owner of Funds Europe. All figures are for one month to January 31, 2021 unless otherwise stated.
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