As of the end of August, the MSCI Emerging Market Index have gained 48% year to date, while MSCI global equities have increased 18%. High global liquidity, improvements in risk appetite, falling core markets volatility (VIX), rebounding commodity prices and relatively stable emerging markets fundamentals in comparison to past episodes of crisis are behind the recovery. Moreover, EM countries' policy response to the crisis has been relatively aggressive, planting the seeds for a positive domestic demand story. However downside risks remain in place due to uncertainties about the shape of the global recovery, profit taking, revival of global risk aversion, and higher US Treasury yields. Moreover, corporates may post worse-than-expected earnings reports as Q2's improvements were largely driven by cost-cutting efforts not by a recovery in demand. Since it reached bottom in November 2008, EM equity markets have jumped 81%.
In August, EM equities lost some steam (-0.8% m/m vs. +14.6% m/m in July), lead by a correction in Asia ex-Japan (-5.3% m/m vs. +17% m/m in July), while Latin America (+3% m/m vs. 11.3% m/m in July) and EMEA (+5.1% m/m vs. 11.7% m/m in July) showed less buoyant performances. Increasing concerns about the global recovery, in particular concerns that China's government will start slowing down credit extension and companies reporting worse-than-expected earnings, as well as profit taking and higher risk aversion, capped these markets. In the same month, world markets increased 4.4% m/m vs.8.8% m/m in July.
- August 3, 2009: According to Michael Wang, emerging markets strategist at Morgan Stanley: “Previously, emerging markets were seen as a geared play on developed markets because of their dependence on exports. But this is different. Asia and Latin America haven’t had the fundamental problems in the banking sector that the developed world has had, so lending and credit growth has resumed rapidly and this is helping drive growth.” However, Mr Wang pointed out that “There is the possibility of an incipient asset bubble, particularly with regard to China, but that is not our base case scenario, which is still for them to go higher”.
- July 27: "Research by Société Générale's cross asset team argues it is time to sell because the price-to-book value of emerging-market stocks is now higher than those in the developed world. The only other time this valuation measure was at a premium to that of the developed world was from mid-2006 to mid-2007. Emerging-market equities fell by two-thirds in the 12 months to the start of November 2008.
- July 13: July 13: According to Citigroup equity strategist Geoffrey Dennis and Jason Press “The correction in regional equity markets has reached the expected 10-15 percent range.” “Although the mood has turned sour on worries over the timing of economic recovery, there is little more downside from here and expect regional markets to break out to the upside again later this summer.”
- The MSCI Emerging Markets Index may climb to 985 by June 2010 from its closing price of 743.72 on June 18th, Jonathan Garner, Morgan Stanley’s chief Asian and emerging-market strategist, wrote in a research note. Profits will rebound 28 percent next year after a 15 percent slide in 2009, Garner wrote. That compares with his earlier forecast for a 20 percent gain in 2010 and a 25 percent drop this year.
- June 15: Deutsche Bank AG said that Latin American stocks may drop 15 percent this summer (2009) because of increased share sales in Brazil, weaker China bank lending and the unlikelihood of a rebound in the U.S. economy in the second quarter.
- June 2: The surge in emerging-market equities may last another six months (until the end of 2009) as faster economic growth in developing countries prompts investors to keep shifting out of lower-yielding assets. Emerging-market stocks may keep on gaining as investors shift some of the $3.8 trillion in money market funds into equities.
- Latin American stocks reached a new 2009 high while Brazil's currency rose to the highest level in a year on Tuesday, after the improvement of the country's ratings. Brazil's real strengthened 1% to 1.799 per dollar, which was its strongest since exactly a year ago. The Latin American stock index rose 1.02% to 3,643.10, and the broader emerging markets stock index added 1.27%.
- Stocks from developing-nation dropped 0.9% after trading at the highest level relative to profits since 2000, according the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. (Bloomberg, 09/21/09)
- August 31, 2009: Emerging market stocks fell sharply by the end of August on concern a slowdown in Chinese lending will curb growth in the world’s third-largest economy.
- August 13, 2009: August 12th: Emerging market stocks contracted the most this month after Chinese companies reported worse than expected earnings and Russia's economy contracted by a record amount, creating concerns about an economic recovery. The MSCI contracted 1.4%. On August 3rd the MSCI closed above 855.47 on for the first time since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September, as speculations of an easing to the global recession were bolstered by a positive report on U.S. manufacturing and rising commodity prices. In Asia, stock indices were supported by better than expected earnings from energy producers due to higher oil prices.
- August 12, 2009: Emerging market stocks contracted the most this month after Chinese companies reported worse than expected earnings and Russia's economy contracted by a record amount, creating concerns about an economic recovery. The MSCI contracted 1.4%. (Bloomberg) August 6, 2009: "Moody's reiteration, on Wednesday, of Mexico's existing sovereign credit rating (Baa1), with a stable outlook, does not alter Citigroup's view that the risk of a ratings downgrade is a threat to Mexican equities later this year. Accordingly, the positive market action in response to the Moody’s announcement (including a rally in the peso through P$13.00/dollar) may be overdone."
- July 28: "I wouldn't want to encourage people to invest in China and India who have never invested before," cautioned Jim O'Neill, Goldman Sachs chief economist. "Wait for a correction."
- July 28: "Investors around the world have been pouring money into emerging-market stocks faster this year than at any other comparable time on record, despite strategists' fears of a bubble. They plowed a record $35.5 billion into emerging-market stock funds in the first half, according to funds-flow research firm EPFR Global, whose data go back to 1995. By contrast, investors withdrew $61 billion from developed-market stock funds over the same period, EPFR said."
- July 8:“Risk aversion levels have risen across the board,” said Nigel Rendell, a senior emerging-market strategist at RBC Capital Markets in London. “While sentiment is still uncertain, emerging markets generally will be weaker.”
Asia (ex-Japan): Asian equities have outperformed mature markets in 2009 thanks to continuous foreign institutional investor (FII) inflows amid diminishing risk-aversion among global investors and relatively resilient macroeconomic fundamentals. Markets have gained 46% YTD as of August 31 (78% since October 2008) with India (68%) and Indonesia (75%) as the best performers, and China (39%) and Malaysia (36%) as the laggards. Sri-Lanka posted an exceptional 131% gain due to the end of the 26-year civil war, a $2.5-billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the government's positive stance on reforms and liberalization. Asian markets have recovered 54% of the losses incurred in 2008 (peak to trough, down 59%).
Latin America: Latin American equities has outperformed the other emerging markets regional indexes by rising 59% YTD to August 31 (99% since it hit bottom in November 2008), with strong performances in Brazil (71%) and Colombia (55%). The laggards are Argentina (41%) and Mexico (34%). Overall, LatAm equities market have recovered 46% of the 2008 crash (peak to trough, down 68%).
Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA): EMEA equities market have gone up 42% YTD to the end of August and 77% since it reached bottom in March 2009. Turkey (66%) and Russia (59%) lead the mark, while Morocco (-3%) and South Africa (16%) have underperformed. EMEA stock markets have recovered 39% of the sharp correction induced by the global crisis (peak to trough, down 66%)
Recent EM market Dynamics: