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Emerging markets and gold shine amid 2016’s market turmoil

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Gold and emerging markets have been the winning asset classes of 2016 so far, according to ratings agency FundCalibre.

While markets have been hugely volatile during the first six months of the year, gold bullion is up 22.6% year-to-date and gold shares, as measured by the FTSE Gold Mines index, are up 85.1% (returns in dollars).

Emerging markets, as measured by the MSCI Emerging Markets index, are up 13.6% (returns in sterling) between January and June.

In terms of funds in these markets, BlackRock Gold & General, which has returned more than 100% for investors since the start of the year, has landed at the top of FundCalibre’s top performing Elite Funds so far in 2016. The Aberdeen Latin American fund, which is up 41.4%, took second position.

In contrast, developed markets have struggled. In sterling terms, the UK and European markets have been in negative territory for most of the year, as was Japan until the result of the EU referendum when the market jumped by around 10%. This meant it ended the first half of the year up around 6%.

The US market has done even better in sterling terms and the S&P 500 received a boost post-Brexit as the pound weakened against the dollar. This meant it finished up almost 11%.

Darius McDermott, managing director of FundCalibre, said the second half of the year is likely to echo the first in terms of volatility, but there is more to come from gold.

He said: “Gold has come into its own as investors have flocked to it as a perceived safe haven and, while returns have been spectacular in the first half of the year, and the easy money has been made, I still believe that there is more to come, albeit at a slower rate. The precious metal and its related mining shares have had a dire few years and I believe they were oversold in that time. As market volatility prevails, gold’s price could rise further.”

Turning to emerging markets, McDermott said these are more of a conundrum as they have suffered in recent years due to the strengthening dollar.

He said: “As the dollar has stabilised, emerging markets have breathed a sigh of relief, but I don’t think this explains the returns we have seen in 2016. China is still slowing and the global economy is likely to take a hit from weaker sentiment in a post-Brexit fall out. But it might be worth dipping a toe back in as the prospects for developed market equities are looking muted in the short term at least.”

2016 leader board of Elite Rated funds

fundcalibre table

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