Gavekal Capital: Middle Eastern Stocks Leading Stock Indices Higher Around The World YTD

Friday, July 18, 2014

Middle Eastern Stocks Leading Stock Indices Higher Around The World YTD

Looking at MSCI All-Country World Index, which is a combination of the MSCI Developed Markets Index (23 countries)and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (23 countries), we find impressive breadth in the global stock market. However, this quarter has started off on weaker footing. As usual, all data shown is on an equal-weighted basis.

The top seven performing countries year-to-date are all emerging market economies and are all from the Middle East or the Asia-Pacific region. The top performer is the United Arab Emirates which is up over 40% year-to-date with Qatar, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Turkey the only other countries up over 20% so far this year. As usual, it is important to remember that many of these individual companies only have a handful of stocks that are in the MSCI index. For example, the United Arab Emirates includes only 9 stocks and Qatar includes only 10. On the other hand, India has 69 stocks in their MSCI country index which is more than Germany (54).

The average stock in the world is up a little over 7% year-to-date and 37 out of a possible 46 countries have positive performance. Only two countries, Hungary and Portugal, are down over 10% so far this year. In Portugal's case, that decline has all happened in July. It is down 14.5% month-to-date. Keep in mind there are only 4 countries in the Portugal in the MSCI Emerging Market Index.

The best performing developed market country is Denmark which is up almost 16% year-to-date. Other than portugal, the worst performing countries are, in order of worst to best, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Germany.