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Risk asset is a term broadly used to describe any financial security or instrument that is not a risk-free asset – that is, a high quality government bond. Risk assets would therefore include equities, commodities, property and all areas of fixed income apart from high quality sovereign bonds, such as gilts or Treasuries.
At the beginning of 2013 analysts were wondering if the rally in risk assets would continue. The appetite for risk at the expense of Treasuries, for example, had propelled the S&P 500 in 2012 to its highest level since 2007.