August was the month which saw Emerging Markets equity skidding after a strong showing for the past few months. The group lost 0.5% but was still up a long way on a year to date basis (+48.3%). At that kind of rate, August was a much needed breather. As mentioned during last month's tally, REITs was the one to be in, and rightly chalked up the best showing in August, so much so that REITs are on positive territory on a year to date basis thanks to the month of August alone.
August was the month where Foreign Developed Markets (ex-US) had a bit of a decent run, maybe on a portfolio reallocation where some institutional funds were taking off some bets in Emerging Markets in preference for developed markets. Commodities continued its dismal run, and this may indicate that the global economy is still some way off from a proper recovery, what we are seeing is a stock market recovery, which basically tries to discount a more solid economic recovery 12-18 months down the road.
p/s photos: Shinobu Ikehata