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Asset Class Overview – March 2016

Asset Class Overview

After an early month sell-off, solid U.S. economic data, stability in China, and recovering oil prices all helped provide a better tone to risk markets during February. The MSCI World Index, a measure of developed world equity markets, reached multi-year lows before recouping some of the early month losses, returning a negative 0.67% for the month (negative 6.59% year-to-date). U.S. equity markets faired only marginally better. After staging their own late month rally, the S&P 500 ended the month down 0.14% (negative 5.09% year-to-date). The bearish sentiment in the high yield bond market turned bullish in February as the Merrill Lynch US Cash Pay High Yield Index returned a positive 0.48% for the month (negative 1.11% year-to-date). While investors began to nibble away at risk assets, demand for investment grade fixed income remained robust. The Barclays Aggregate Index, a measure of the broad investment grade bond universe, returned a positive 0.71% in February (2.10% year-to-date).

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