Here Are The Best Performing Assets In April And YTD

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April was another solid month for financial markets, with 31 of the 38 non-currency assets in Deutsche Bank's main sample gaining ground (alas, unlike Goldman, DB refuses to include cryptos to the main sample of assets it tracks).

As DB's Henry Allen writes, investor sentiment was supported by the continued economic recovery and blockbuster earnings, with numerous indicators showing incredibly strong growth, as well as reassurance from the Fed that they were in no hurry to withdraw monetary stimulus anytime soon. Against this backdrop, the major equity indices climbed to all-time highs, commodities saw a big rally, and even haven assets like gold and US Treasuries recovered after a poor Q1. DB does note that even though it does not show its performance in the summary charts (see below), the one asset that wasn’t so lucky was Bitcoin, with April seeing its run of six successive monthly gains finally come to an end.

Bitcoin aside, the biggest story in April was a major rise in commodity prices across the board, with agricultural prices in particular seeing an astonishing surge. Starting with the bank's main sample, the key industrial bellwether of copper topped the leaderboard with a +12.1% increase, which took the metal to its highest level in a decade. The move has been aided by continued hopes for the global economic recovery as the vaccine rollout proceeds, as well as the fact that copper stands to benefit from a wave of fiscal support that’s set to see fresh spending on infrastructure and clean energy goals. Meanwhile oil prices maintained their existing YTD lead, with WTI (+7.5%) and Brent (+5.8%) both moving higher, to take their YTD gains to +31.0% and +29.8% respectively. As with copper, hopes for a strong recovery after the pandemic have supported gains, with oil set to be in demand as economies open up once again.

Staying on commodities, it’s worth noting those gains in agricultural prices, even though like Bitcoin, Deutsche does not include them in its main sample. Bloomberg’s agriculture spot index has risen +13.4% over the last month, which is its biggest monthly gain since July 2012, and leaves the index up +72.3% year-on-year. This is down to the combination of bad weather in a number of key regions along with a rise in Chinese imports that have had effects on both the demand and supply side.

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