The MSCI World Healthcare Net Return (NR) Index rose 3.1% in December 2020, compared with a 4.3% gain for the MSCI World NR Index. As regards GICS sector performances, Healthcare (+14.1%) closed the year in the top half of the table. The sector’s gain came with much lower volatility (25.5%) than that of all other sectors, except for Consumer Staples (21.8%).
The MSCI World Healthcare NR Index returned -2.7% in February, while the MSCI World NR Index rose 2.6%. During the last week of the month, many sectors took a hit because of rising 10-year Treasury rates (now at their highest levels in a year), enhancing on one hand the attractiveness of bonds vs. Equities and on the other hand propelling cyclical stocks.
Healthcare started 2021 on a very positive note, outperforming most of the other sectors (Energy, 3.0%, being the sole exception). The MSCI World Healthcare Net Return (NR) Index gained 1.1% in January 2021, while the MSCI World NR Index declined 1.0%.
The MSCI World Healthcare Net Return (NR) Index rose by 9.0% in November 2020 and the MSCI World NR Index gained 12.8%. November was the best month for global equities year-to-date (12.8%), with cyclicals outperforming defensive sectors.