TORONTO, May 3, 2016 /CNW/ -- Morningstar Research Inc., a Canadian subsidiary of Chicago-based independent investment research provider Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), today released preliminary April 2016 performance data for its 42 Morningstar Canada Fund Indices, which measure the aggregate returns of funds in various standard categories. Twenty-three of the 42 Fund Indices increased during the month, though only 10 of these indices increased by 1% or more. Ten fund indices decreased more than 1%—all of which track foreign equity categories.
Highlights from Morningstar's April 2016 preliminary performance report include:
- Precious Metals Equity funds had another spectacular month, with the fund index that tracks that category posting an increase of 26.8% in April, following its chart-topping 35.4% increase in the first quarter of 2016. The Morningstar Precious Metals Equity Fund Index has had positive monthly results each month so far this year and is currently up 71.8% for the year to date.
- The second-best-performing fund index for April was Natural Resources Equity with an increase of 13.6%. This fund index was also the second-best performer in the first quarter with an increase of 9.9%. Funds in this category have exposure to both the basic materials sector, which contains precious metals, and the energy sector. The Morningstar Energy Equity Fund Index also did well in April with an 8.5% increase, ranking third.
- Domestic equity funds were among the best performers for the month, with the Canadian Small/Mid Cap Equity and Canadian Equity fund indices increasing 4.8% and 2.4%, respectively. However, these numbers significantly lag their respective benchmarks: the S&P/TSX Small Cap Index was up 12.4% in April, while the S&P/TSX Composite Index increased 3.7%. Varying performance within each sector of the Canadian market meant individual fund portfolio positioning had a large effect on last month's performance.
- All fund indices that track foreign equity categories were down last month, owing to weak—though mostly positive—market performance and adverse currency effects. The worst-performing fund indices were Asia Pacific Equity, Greater China Equity, and Asia Pacific ex-Japan Equity, which decreased 2.8%, 3.8%, and 4.0%, respectively.
- In the United States, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.4% for the month, but the Canadian dollar appreciated by 3.4% against the U.S. dollar, resulting in a 2.2% decrease for the Morningstar U.S. Equity Fund Index. The story is similar in Europe, where stock market indexes in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom all increased approximately 1% when measured in local currencies; however, the loonie's appreciation of 2.9% against the euro and 1.6% against the pound resulted in a 1.7% decrease for the Morningstar European Equity Fund Index.
- All balanced and target-date fund indices had muted performance last month, with results ranging from a 0.8% increase for the Morningstar Canadian Equity Balanced Fund Index to a 0.7% decrease for the Morningstar 2025 Target Date Portfolio Fund Index. As with equity categories, the fund indices that measure domestic balanced categories all had positive results, while global balanced fund indices were all in the red.
To view the complete report about Morningstar's preliminary April 2016 performance data for Canadian funds, please visit https://tr.im/eU1jO.
Morningstar Canada's preliminary fund performance figures are based on change in funds' net asset values per share during the month, and do not necessarily include end-of-month income distributions. Final performance figures will be published on www.morningstar.ca next week.
About Morningstar Research Inc. and Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar Research Inc. is a Canadian subsidiary of Chicago-based Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, and retirement plan providers and sponsors. Morningstar provides data on approximately 525,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on nearly 18 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with more than US$180 billion in assets under advisement or management as of March 31, 2016. The company has operations in 27 countries.
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SOURCE Morningstar Research Inc.