OSLO- Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, posted a loss of 653 billion Norwegian crowns ($74.2 billion) in the first quarter of 2022 as the war in Ukraine and other global events hit stocks and bonds, it said on Thursday.

The $1.3 trillion fund's return on investment stood at a nagative 4.9% for the January-March period, which was still 0.66 percentage points better than the return on the fund's benchmark index.

"The first quarter has been characterised by geopolitical turbulence, which has also affected the markets," said deputy CEO Trond Grande of Norges Bank Investment Management, which operates the fund.

"The return was negative for both equities and fixed income, but positive for unlisted real state," he said in a statement.

In total, 70.9% of the fund was invested in equities at the end of March, while 26.3% was invested in fixed income, 2.7% in unlisted real estate and 0.1% in unlisted renewable energy infrastructure.

($1 = 8.8006 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Victoria Klesty and Karlotta Weber, editing by Terje Solsvik)