Durban - Improved investor sentiment came through in the last quarter of 2009, seen in the strong performance of some FTSE/JSE indices and unit trust returns, said Plexus Asset Management on Thursday.
In the quarter to December 31, resources stole the show, with the Resources Index up 16.7% on a total return basis.
Plexus said this was on the back of rising commodity prices, with industrial metal prices over the quarter (as measured by the Economist Metals Index) up slightly more than 16%, the price of platinum firming by 13.3%, and the spot price of Brent crude rising from $66 to $77 per barrel.
This had the domestic equity resources and basic industries (excluding gold and precious metal funds) as the best-performing unit trust category, with an average return of 12.8% for the quarter. The category was also tops over the year with a total return of 37.9%.
Best-performing unit trust over the quarter was the RMB Resources Fund, up by 15.7%, followed by the Investec Commodity Fund with a return of 15.2%. The worst performance was from the Stanlib Small Cap unit trust, a negative 5.8% over the quarter.
The RMB Resources Fund is also top of the charts over 12 months with a return of 53.6%, followed by the PSG Alphen Growth Fund, up 43.5%.
Worst performance came from the Investment Solutions US Dollar Cash Feeder Fund, a negative 21.3%, as local investors were squeezed by the rand strengthening against the greenback.
Over three years the Cadiz Equity Ladder is the best performer, up 22.2% per year, and over five years it's resources again, this time the Old Mutual Mining and Resources Fund with an annualised return of 29.2%.