First Quarter 2017 Overview
Following a calendar year when the average closed-end fund (CEF) was up 8.59%, many categories of the CEF marketplace continued their positive momentum in 2017. Indeed, the average CEF was up a solid 5.17% during the first quarter of 2017. Positive gains were broad based during the first three months of the year as equity CEFs were up on average 8.35%, taxable fixed-income CEFs up 4.64% and municipal CEFs up 2.34%. I believe rising global equity prices, solid fundamentals for credit sensitive asset classes (i.e. defaults below historical averages), fairly steady long-term interest rates, demand for income-oriented asset classes and discount narrowing all helped contribute to the broad-based positive total returns experienced by many categories in the first quarter. (Source: Morningstar. All data is share price total return.)
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