World Markets Weekend Review: Bear Cubs Abound

Includes: EPI, EWG, EWH, EWJ, EWU, FXI
by: Doug Short

The world selloff continued last week, with six of the seven world markets we've been tracking finishing the week with a loss. The FTSE was the solitary market with a gain, and it has now taken over the top spot in table of percentage declines from interim highs. In fact, four of the seven are now in secular bear territory, down 20% or more from their interim highs: The DAX, Nikkei, Hang Seng and Shanghai. And the BSE Sensex, down 19.83, is only a hair's breadth away from joining the other bear cubs.

The tables below provide a concise overview of performance comparisons over the past four weeks for these seven 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 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, Hang Seng) is readily apparent.