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Rising yields take a toll on bond funds

2018's rising-yield environment has hit the largest institutional bond funds. The average year-to-date return among the five largest intermediate bond funds was -1.8% on a total return basis through Wednesday's close. The funds make up about one-third of the U.S. intermediate-term bond universe as classified by Morningstar, totaling about $295 billion.

On a relative basis, all five funds outperformed the Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Bond index by an average 56 basis points. DoubleLine's Total Return Bond Fund led the group, topping the index by 138 basis points. The fund invests more in asset-backed and mortgage-related securities, which insulated it from broader market impacts.