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 novel coronavirus pandemic and concurrent decline in world oil prices during the first three months of 2020.

The CIBC Mellon report says Canadian equities had a first-quarter median return of minus 20.10 per cent.

That was nearly three times worse than a decline of 7.23 per cent in a broader universe tracked by BNY Mellon, which is a partner with 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.

CIBC Mellon says the private equity asset category delivered the highest performance for the quarter, returning 9.64 per cent. Real estate was also a positive investment option during the quarter, with a median return of 3.30 per cent 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) while fixed income fell a modest 0.13 per cent in the quarter.