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Canadian equities were the worst performing traditional asset category in the first quarter, according to a report that sizes up the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and concurrent decline in world oil prices during the first three months of 2020.

The CIBC Mellon report says Canadian equities in the BNY Mellon Canadian Master Trust Universe had a first-quarter median return of minus 20.10%.

That was nearly three times worse than a decline of 7.23% in the broader universe tracked by BNY Mellon, which is a partner with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Working together, they monitor $233.6 billion worth of investment assets that provide a comparison between 84 Canadian corporate, public and university pension plans.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 20.90% in the quarter.

CIBC Mellon says the private equity asset category delivered the highest performance for the quarter, returning 9.64%. Real estate was also a positive investment option, with a median return of 3.30% during the quarter ended March 31.

It says other categories of equity investment were also down, including international (minus 15.35%) and U.S. equity (minus 13.5%). That compares to the S&P 500 Index’s 11.75% decline.

Fixed income fell a modest 0.13% in the quarter, while hedge funds were down 1.47%.

The FTSE Canada Bond Universe Index returned 1.56% in the first quarter.