ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. reported strong returns and a total value of $64 billion in the first half of the 2018 fiscal year.

The fund corporation announced the numbers on Monday, highlighting returns of 8.45 percent, the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported .

The report was released as domestic markets continued to be down for the second consecutive trading day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Monday at 24,345, down more than 7 percent from Friday.

The public equities portion of the fund's investments produced an 11.9 percent return and outperformed the corporation's investment benchmark between July 1, 2017, and Jan. 1.

CEO Angela Rodell said she was particularly "pleased to see the quality and diversity of the portfolio's investment returns across all asset classes."

The Fund has more than doubled in overall asset value since ending the 2009 fiscal year at $29.9 billion following the market crash that spurred the Great Recession.

The Permanent Fund principal is protected from being spent by the amendment to the Alaska Constitution that established the Fund. Spending from the Earnings Reserve, however, requires a simple majority vote from both bodies of the state Legislature.

To date, the only spending from the Earnings Reserve has been to pay out annual Permanent Fund dividends to residents based on a percentage of the Fund's previous five-year performance.

Gov. Bill Walker and House and Senate leaders have pushed to implement a percent of market value appropriation structure from the Earnings Reserve to pay down up to nearly $2 billion of the state's ongoing budget deficits in excess of $2.5 billion.

The Fund's Board of Trustees has supported the proposed structure to provide stability for the Fund and its managers.

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Information from: (Anchorage) Alaska Journal of Commerce, http://www.alaskajournal.com