by Tom Roseen.
For the month, 70% of all closed-end funds (CEFs) posted net asset value (NAV)-based returns in the black, with 91% of equity CEFs and only 54% of fixed income CEFs chalking up returns in the plus column. For the first month in seven, Lipper’s domestic equity CEFs (+13.74%) outpaced its two equity-based brethren: world equity CEFs macro-group (+9.88%) and mixed-assets CEFs (+9.49%). For the first month in four, the Energy MLP CEFs classification (+43.67%, March’s laggard [-63.74%]) outperformed all other equity classifications, followed by Natural Resources CEFs (+24.17%) and Sector Equity CEFs (+11.85%). Real Estate CEFs (+2.77%, March’s leader) was the relative laggard of the equity universe.
For the first month in four, domestic taxable bond CEFs moved to the top of the leaderboard, posting a 3.50% return on average, followed by world income CEFs (+3.22%) and municipal debt CEFs (-3.08%). Investors became slightly more risk seeking during the month, pushing Corporate Debt BBB-Rated CEFs (Leveraged) (+5.37%) to the top of the leaderboard for the month.
For April, the median discount of all CEFs narrowed 42 bps to 9.36%—wider than the 12-month moving average median discount (7.04%). In this report, we highlight April 2020 CEF performance trends, premiums and discounts, and corporate actions and events.
Download our Closed-End Funds FundMarket Insight Report: The Month in Closed-End Funds: April 2020 here.
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