The upswing in global equity markets in the second quarter of 2007 contributed to a positive return on both the Government Pension Fund - Global and the investment portfolio in Norges Bank's foreign exchange reserves. Both generated a return in international currency of just over 2.2 per cent. The Government Petroleum Insurance Fund, which is invested only in fixed income instruments, generated a return of -0.54 per cent. In the first half of 2007, the return on the two largest portfolios (the Government Pension Fund - Global and the investment portfolio) was 3.7 per cent, while the return on the Government Petroleum Insurance Fund was 0.3 per cent.
The upswing in global equity markets which began in spring 2003 continued in the second quarter of 2007, interrupted by a slight drop in prices in the second half of June (see Chart 1-1). The price of oil and other raw materials rose during the quarter, and companies in the Oil & Gas and Basic Materials sectors saw the strongest gains. However, there were positive returns in all the main sectors.
Since the beginning of 2003, the Japanese, European and US markets have gained 123, 112 and 82 per cent respectively. An index of equities in 24 emerging markets rose 263 per cent in the same period.