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Investors had to take a passage to India to get to the top of Ratings' best-performing mutual funds list for April.

The top two spots on the mutual fund leader board for the month were occupied by the


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India Fund (MINDX) and the

Eaton Vance

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Greater India Fund (ETGIX).

These were also the only two funds to ratchet up double-digit gains -- 12.37% and 11.65% respectively (leveraged and "inverse" funds excluded).

But aside from the two Indian funds, the leaders list (table below) was dominated by biotech and health care funds.

The top-performing of these were the


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Biotechnology Discovery A (FBDIX),


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Select Pharmaceuticals (FPHAX) and

Eaton Vance

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WW Health Sciences A (ETHSX) funds, which gained 9.91%, 9.37% and 9.27% respectively for the month.

But as has been the case in recent months, international investing was a two-way street in April. While Indian funds fared well, as did a Nordic and Israeli fund that made its way onto our leaders list, four of April's worst performers focus on the Japanese market.


Credit Suisse


Japan Equity Fund (WPJAX) was down 3.44% for the month, the


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Japan Small Companies Fund (FJSCX) slipped 3.73%, the



Japan Fund (CVJAX) was down 3.25%, and the

Goldman Sachs


Japanese Equity Fund (GSJSX) gave up 3.17%.

In addition to negative returns for the month of April, all the laggards in the table below remain underwater for the year to date. Six suffered negative returns for the most recent 12 months.

Richard Widows is a financial analyst for Ratings. Prior to joining, Widows was senior product manager for quantitative analytics at Thomson Financial. After receiving an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University in California, his career included development of investment information systems at data firms, including the Lipper division of Reuters. His international experience includes assignments in the U.K. and East Asia.