First Quarter Markets Performance Review of Individual Countries

Emerging markets are the top performers in the first quarter this year. The five best performing five indices are:

1.China – Shanghai A Shares Index Up 32.85%

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%

One common feature among the five countries above is that except Taiwan all others are emerging countries.Emerging markets are expectd to have a 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 suprising 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 returned 6.67% last quarter tracking the overall upturn in the commodity prices.

Other than Taiwan, three other developed countries were in the positive territory for the quarter as well. Canada’s S&P;/TSX Composite Index was up just under1%, Norway at 8.29% and Ireland at 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 are both down around 22%. The Nigeria NSE All-Share Index was down 36.79%.

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