First Quarter 2019 Overview
After a very challenging fourth quarter of 2018 when the average closed-end fund (CEF) was lower by 8.7% and for the year was down 10.7%, CEFs staged a significant rally during the first quarter of 2019. The average fund was up 11.8% for the first quarter. It was a very broad-based rally with Equity CEFs up 14.8%, Taxable Fixed-Income CEFs positive by 11.2% and Municipal CEFs up 9.4%. As discussed in the fourth quarter 2018 CEF commentary (https://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/Insights/2019/1/28/fourth-quarter-2018
), as tax loss selling ends and the calendar switches to the new year, price discovery takes hold as investors look to take advantage of the meaningful value and discounts to net asset value (NAV) that was created during the fourth quarter sell-off. That is, indeed, what we have seen occur in the first quarter. (Source: Morningstar. All data is share price total return).
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