PORTUGAL – Watson Wyatt says that expected returns for Portuguese pension funds in February plummeted to –0.1%.

According to Watson Wyatt, euro equities performed best with a 2.8% return, in contrast with Portuguese equities, which fell 1.5% in February from +5.5% in January.

“During February most equity markets, excluding Portugal, showed positive results, stimulated mainly by macro and micro economic favourable news. The domestic market, going against the trend, lost 1.5%” Watson Wyatt commented.

International equities were second best performers with a 1% return. In January the asset class posted a 1.9% increase.

Returns from funds of hedge funds, cash, property and euro bonds - except fixed rates, have remained stable since January. Hedge funds returned 0.5% while cash and money market investments returned 0.2%. Real estate returned 0.4%.

Fixed-rate euro bond returns fell from 1% in January to -0.2%

Watson Wyatt’s estimates follow Mercer Investment Consulting’s analysis that indicated that Portuguese pension funds posted average returns of 0.6% in February while the market closed the month with a 1.5% fall.