Mutual funds registered for sale in Thailand posted an average loss of 3.79% in September, a turnaround from an average gain of 0.59% in August, according to Lipper data. The funds are down 11.72% on-average in the January to September period.

Equity funds suffered the most with an average loss of 12.32%. Due to the global financial turmoil, investors expected a slowdown of global demand for crude oil, leading to an average loss of 12.15% for commodities funds.

Even though Asian economies are expected to remain relatively resilient amid the crisis, their bourses were unable to escape a major sell-off. Funds that invest in emerging markets in the Far East lost an average 20.37% last month. Meanwhile, along with the global stock market collapse, commodities prices crashed and hit funds that invest in the mineral resources sector, which posted an average loss of 18.28%; especially, MFC International Natural Resources fell 30.01%, marking the biggest loss among equity funds.

Equity funds able to resist the market downtrend were categorised under equity sector gold and precious metals, which generated an average 4.57% gain, boosted by two funds in the sector û K Gold and TMB Gold û the only two positively returning equity funds, with returns of 6.02% and 3.13%, respectively.

In September, bond funds posted an average gain of 0.35%. Only three bond sectors showed positive returns û bond global, bond Korean won, and bond Thai baht, which were up 1.82%, 0.42%, and 0.32%, respectively.

On the local front, the Thai market has not only been affected by the global financial shock, but it has also been hurt by political fighting.

ôIn light of the high uncertainty from external and internal factors, the best strategy may be to overweight cash and high-quality fixed-income funds such as local government bond funds, which is consistent with the current strategy of global fund managers,ö says Suthee Luangaramkul, an analyst at Lipper.

Average performance of fund groups registered for sale in Thailand in September:

Money Market +0.62%
Bonds +0.35%
Protected -0.49%
Mixed Assets -8.50%
Commodities -12.15%
Equities -12.32%