Emerging markets were the top country performers in the first quarter of this year. The five best performing five indices were:
1. China - Shanghai A Shares Index Up 32.85% (CAF)
2. Peru - INDICE SELECTIVO PERU-15 Up 32.79%
3. Venezuela - Caracas General Index Up 25.23%
4. Pakistan- KSE 100 Index Up 24.99%
5. Taiwan - TSEC Taiwan 50 Index Up 17.06% (EWT)
One common feature among the five countries above is that except Taiwan, all others are emerging countries. Emerging markets are expected to have positive GDP growth this year and global capital is flowing to some of the beaten down emerging markets. However countries such as Pakistan and Venezuela carry huge political risks. Since the majority of industries in Taiwan are export-based and also many of them are contract electronics makers, it is surprising to see Taiwan’s index up so much this year.
Brazil’s Bovespa Index was up 16.47% which is very good in current market conditions. The iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ) is showing strong performance since the beginning of the year. The Santiago IPSA Index in Chile (ECH) returned 6.67% last quarter tracking the overall up-tick in commodity prices.
Other than Taiwan, three other developed countries were in positive territory for the quarter as well. Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite Index was up just under 1%, Norway was plus 8.29% and Ireland was up 0.89%.
Large European markets like the FTSE 100, CAC 40 and the DAX were all down in the 7 to 9% range. The US Dow Jones Index was also off 9.10%.
On the worst performing countries list, Latvia and Ukraine were both down around 22% in Q1. The Nigeria NSE All-Share Index was down 36.79%.
Data Source: Emerginvest.com