As of Friday's close, the eight world indexes in my weekend update presented a mixed bag. The China's Shanghai Composite was the stellar standout, up 5.57%, a total reversal from its last-place finish the previous week. Japan's Nikkei 225 finished in distant second with a gain of 2.42% and the UK's FTSE 100 finished third, up one percent. The US's S&P 500 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished in the middle of the pack with similar modest gains, up 0.68% and 0.60% respectively. The bottom three indexes posted losses for the week, with India's SENSEX as the worst performer, down 1.60%. France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAXK posted fractional declines.
Its big gain notwithstanding, the Shanghai remains the only index on the watch list in bear territory -- the traditional designation for a 20% decline from an interim high. See the table inset (lower right) in the chart below. The index is still down 30.32% from its interim high of August 2009. At the other end of the inset, the S&P 500 and FTSE 100 once again set new interim highs on Friday.
Here is a table highlighting the 2013 year-to-date gains, sorted in that order, along with the 2013 interim highs for the eight indexes. The 2013 rally continues to be impressive with four of the eight at their YTD highs, although that is two fewer than last week.
A Closer Look at the Last Four Weeks
The tables below provide a concise overview of performance comparisons over the past four weeks for these eight major indexes. I've also included the average for each week so that we can evaluate the performance of a specific index relative to the overall mean and better understand weekly volatility. The colors for each index name help us visualize the comparative performance over time.
The chart below illustrates the comparative performance of World Markets since March 9, 2009. The start date is arbitrary: The S&P 500, CAC 40 and BSE SENSEX hit their lows on March 9th, the Nikkei 225 on March 10th, the DAX on March 6th, the FTSE on March 3rd, the Shanghai Composite on November 4, 2008, and the Hang Seng even earlier on October 27, 2008. However, by aligning on the same day and measuring the percent change, we get a better sense of the relative performance than if we align the lows.
A Longer Look Back
Here is the same chart starting from the turn of 21st century. The relative over-performance of the emerging markets (Shanghai, Mumbai SENSEX, Hang Seng) is readily apparent, especially the SENSEX, but the trend over the past two years has not been their friend (make that three years for the Shanghai).
Check back next week for a new update.