More than two-thirds (70%) of Canadian corporate, public and university pension plans covered by the BNY Mellon Canadian Master Trust Universe delivered positive returns in the third quarter (Q3), according to data published Wednesday by Toronto-based CIBC Mellon.

The median return was just 0.55% during Q3, but this helped lift the median return so far this year to 5.32%. It also represents the sixth straight quarter of positive returns.

“The top performing asset class in Q3 is Canadian equities with a median return of 3.40%. International equity was the best performing asset class over the one year time horizon (14.74%). Fixed income underperformed in Q3 and one year time horizons with a median returns of -2.01% and -3.01%, respectively,” notes Catherine Thrasher, managing director, Global Risk Solutions Canada, BNY Mellon Asset Servicing, in a statement.

The firm also reports that Canadian large cap equities posted the highest median results for the quarter, gaining 3.9%, whereas returns from Canadian long duration fixed income (-4.03%) and Canadian government bonds (-1.78%) were underperformers in the third quarter.

Among alternative asset classes, real estate led the way with a median return of 1.36%, followed by private equity at 0.52%, and infrastructure at 0.42%. Hedge funds suffered a 0.92% drop in the third quarter.