The Fund returned 7.69% during for the third quarter, tracking the 7.60% return of the MSCI World ESG Index. The Index slightly underperformed the broader developed markets, as gauged by the 8.18% return of the MSCI World Index.
The United States, which makes up approximately 50% of the Index, returned 5.02% during the quarter. Israel, Finland and Spain were the top-performing countries, returning 27.32%, 26.62% and 22.76%, respectively. Japan, which makes up nearly 10% of the Index, returned 7.02%, while the United Kingdom which also accounts for about 10% of the Index returned 11.62%.
The performance of the global equity market gained a substantial boost from signs of improving economic growth throughout the developed world. Data continued to exceed expectations in the United States, highlighted by strength in the housing, auto and manufacturing sectors. European equities performed particularly well in the quarter based on increasing evidence of green shoots of growth in the region. Peripheral European countries delivered positive performance, reflecting growing optimism regarding the European recovery. Greece staged a strong rally, due in part to its economic recovery plan and an improvement in its unemployment rate, and Spain gained ground mainly as a result of its structural reforms and large cuts in public spending. Japanese stocks also finished the quarter in positive territory, but they lagged the broader Index as the market paused to digest substantial second-quarter gains there.
- Seek to duplicate the investment composition and overall performance of the stocks included in the MSCI World ESG Index.
- The Index is a diversified, sector neutral global benchmark constructed using environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.
- Sector and regional neutrality is designed to help the Index outperform other social responsibility and sustainability indices.