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Asset Class Returns As At end-March 2010

Although it may not look as exciting, most asset classes performed well, but there is a certain hollowness. The exception being the revival of property and REITs in the US. Just looking at the 12 month performance and the stupendous 1 month performance, the bottoming out process is truly valid and sustainable.

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You will also find that stocks in developed and emerging markets rose as well, but this was more on the bottoming of US property, the bottoming of unemployment there, for want of a better phrase, stocks just had to rise even though it may not want to.

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In this circumstance, there are still shorts around, but they may be temporarily pulling back, and not pulling the trigger just yet as stocks just had to rise with the more vibrant employment, industrial production and property economic data.

The main exceptions were commodities overall, foreign government bonds in developed markets and investment-grade U.S. bonds. The fact that commodities in general failed to pick up alongside the better industrial production and unemployment figures showed that most producers and users are more willing to work down inventory levels rather than make optimistic future orders. This ties in with a a slow recovery globally rather than a more active one.

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