The top-performing countries were Norway and Hong Kong, with returns of 9.86% and 8.26%, respectively. The bottom country-level performance in the period came from Ireland, Portugal and New Zealand, which returned -8.98%, -2.58% and
-1.19%, respectively. From a sector standpoint, the top performance came from energy and utilities, which returned 11.32% and 6.68%, respectively. The worst performers were information technology and industrials, returning 1.00% and 2.34%, respectively.
Developed market equities provided positive returns in the quarter, driven by positive global economic growth indicators and continued accommodative monetary policy from a range of central banks. The market shrugged off mounting geopolitical risk, focusing instead on positive signals from the corporate sector and the global economy. Global growth appeared to accelerate during the period after a dismal first quarter resulting partly from an unusually harsh U.S. winter. An increase in U.S. merger and acquisition activity contributed to investor optimism, and upward earnings revisions further boosted the markets. Despite the increased optimism and positive economic results, central banks remained dovish. The U.S. Federal Reserve maintained its near-zero short-term rate policy and measured pace of bond purchase tapering, while the European Central Bank went further by introducing a negative deposit rate.
If you're a moderate risk investor seeking competitive long-term investment returns through a broadly diversified portfolio, this Fund may be appropriate for you. It offers a high degree of relative predictability in an uncertain stock market by seeking investment results, before expenses, approximating the aggregate price and dividend performance of the securities included in the MSCI EAFE Index.
- Passively managed, the Fund seeks to duplicate the investment composition and overall performance of the stocks included in the MSCI EAFE® Index.
- The MSCI EAFE® Index consists of 21 developed countries, primarily in Europe and Asia.
- Use proprietary quantitative techniques designed to minimize trading costs.