Global markets continued their March declines, emulating their devastating January performance and reversing their February rebound. The downturn in commodities, highlighted by sharp drops in both oil (broke under $100, closed at $101) and gold ($945, was over $1,000), 10-year Treasury rates at their lowest level (3.34%, at least since my data series goes back - 1962), a dollar still struggling (Yen under 100 at 99.5, and the Euro at 154), and the potential global impact of a perceived U.S. recession all continue to fuel volatility (especially in the U.S. where it stands at a 70 year high) and uncertainty.
Emerging markets, that have done the best, are giving up some of those profits. Notable were the BRIC countries, with China, which returned 69.8% in 2007, now down by 32.5% YTD for 2008; Brazil -9.8% YTD, 79.6% for 2007; India -32.0%, 80.8%; Russia -14.7%, 23.1%.
The decline in the Developed markets was less server, but still significant (as were their gains in 2007). Notable was the U.S. March-to-date performance which posted a slight decline of 0.69%: World markets for March-to-date are down 6.23%, but World ex/U.S. is down 3.73%, which is a reversal of February’s results.
Daily and historical data (downloadable) on S&P/Citigroup Global Equity Indices is available here
Current and historical S&P The World By Numbers is available here