Global developed equity markets were generally flat-to-slightly positive in the first quarter, and U.S. markets outperformed international markets. Real estate securities outperformed the broader equity market, as measured by the MSCI ACWI ® Index return of 1.08%. U.S. real estate securities outperformed international real estate securities, returning 10.15%, versus -1.27% and 3.63% for developed international and emerging markets real estate securities, respectively.
In January, several major headlines contributed to negative returns globally, including disappointing economic data, which was later deemed by some to be a product of cold weather. There was also a continuation of the downward pressure on several emerging market currencies, as the U.S. Federal Reserve continued to taper its asset purchase program. Investors grew more optimistic in February, as corporate earnings improved and a number of central banks indicated continued monetary support. In early March, a period of unrest and a change in government in Ukraine culminated in the annexation of the Crimea region by Russia. The result was market volatility, as western governments prepared sanctions against various Russian entities and individuals. Markets would recover somewhat on declarations by Russia that there were no plans to annex further regions.
- Seek to duplicate the investment composition and overall performance of the stocks included in the FTSE®EPRA®/NAREIT® Global Index.
- Invest at least 80% of its net assets in equity securities in the Index, in weightings that approximate the relative composition of the Index.
- Use proprietary quantitative techniques designed to minimize trading costs.