Oil was the world's best-performing asset class in 2016, after being the worst in each of the two previous years.

Brent crude LCOc1 was on track for a gain of around 50 percent, following a 35 percent tumble in 2015.

Copper CMCU3 was up around 16 percent in 2016, compared with the previous year's 26 percent plunge.

In China, an infrastructure and housing boom sparked a months' long rally in materials prices, with iron ore futures surging 170 percent and coking coal more than doubling.

The dollar index .DXY gained about 4 percent this year or less than half of its 9.3 percent advance in 2015.

MSCI frontier stocks were down about 2 percent; compared with a 7 percent gain for MSCI developed equities. Shanghai A shares, which rose 4.4 percent in 2015, about dropped 18 percent in 2016.

Asset performance in 2016 vs. 2015

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Developed stocks


Emerging stocks: 


Frontier stocks:


Stocks by sector: 


Government bonds


Emerging market currencies vs. dollar