LONDON (Reuters) - Gold funds took three of the top five spots for best-performing funds in November, while special situations, high yield, private equity, UK, and Asia funds made up the bottom five, funds data company Lipper said.
Legg Mason Japan Equity was the top fund for the month, returning 22.47 percent, while Melchior Pan-Asian Advantage, which invests in all the region’s markets aside from Japan, was bottom of a universe of 1,944 investment funds with losses of 38.54 percent, the data showed.
“November had three clear themes: Japan, Gold and Bonds,” said Richard Ramyar, Lipper’s Head of Research for the UK.
“Whatever the problems facing aggregate Japanese equity markets, Japan funds have had a healthy habit of keeping the flame burning for those who were again waiting for a Japanese renaissance,” he said.
BlackRock Gold & General was up 21.13 percent, while Investec Global Gold and Smith & Williamson Global Gold & Resources returned 16.36 percent and 16.09 percent respectively.
Gold rallied during November to more than $820 an ounce, up from about $720 an ounce.
“However much gold has been hammered since breaking to new heights, it will always be in deep in our psyches as the ultimate safe haven and will continue to crop up in the top tables during times of stress.
“Bonds are another other safe haven ... Losses in the equity markets will continue to drive bond funds’ relative overperformance until confidence returns,” Ramyar said.
Japanese Smaller Companies funds was top performing group of funds, with an average return of 11.05 percent, though the average fund in the sector lost 21.34 percent in the year to end-November.
Global Bond Funds made an average return of 4.99 percent, and UK Gilt Funds were up 4.41 percent.
As a group, UK smaller companies funds were the worst performers for the second month running, with losses of 5.03 percent, while Technology & Telecoms funds were second worst with losses of 4.45 percent.
Of the 31 sectors, 14 made positive returns in the month and 15 made losses. Both Cautious Managed and Balanced Managed funds broke even for the month.
Editing by Andrew Macdonald