Japanese stocks are a close second with the Nikkei index rising 31.2% in dollar terms on a total return basis.
Gold was the biggest loser with a year-to-date loss of 28.6%. Generally seen as a safe haven, gold has been hit by an improvement in risk appetite and expectations for a strong dollar, which would make gold more expensive. The metal is set for its biggest annual price decline since 1981.
Emerging markets fared poorly on concerns that the Feds move to scale back its stimulus programme will choke off capital flows into their economies, which benefited the most from cheap money.
Local currency emerging debt is the second-worst performer of 2013, with losses of almost 9% while hard currency bonds have lost 6.6%.
MSCIs main emerging equity index is also set to the end the year in the red, having lost 2.3% on a total return basis in 2013.
Commodities, which are non-yielding assets, have suffered from softer demand from emerging markets and a slowing Chinese economy. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB commodity index is down 4.2% year-to-date.