World Markets Weekend Update: Five Up, Three Down
At Friday's close the eight markets on my world watch list turned in a mixed performance with a slightly positive skew. Five of the eight posted weekly gains, with India's SENSEX in the top spot after its 2.03% advance. The S&P 500 and Hang Seng were second and third with weekly gains above one percent. China's Shanghai Composite was the laggard, with a 2.72% decline.
The Shanghai Composite remains the only index on the watch list in bear territory -- the traditional designation for a 20% decline from an interim high. See the table inset (lower right) in the chart below. The index is down 40.77% from its interim high of August 2009. At the other end, The S&P 500 closed the week at a record high. France's CAC 40 is only 0.25% off its recent interim high following its 2009 low. The FTSE 100 and DAXK are both less than one percent from new interim highs.
Here is a look at 2014 so far.
Here is a table highlighting the year-to-date index performance, sorted from high to low, along with the 2014 interim highs for the eight indexes. At this point, half of the eight indexes are in the red, with last year's big winner, the Nikkei, deep in the YTD cellar. France's CAC 40 is comfortably in the lead with its 2.61% YTD gain.
A Closer Look at the Last Four Weeks
The tables below provide a concise overview of performance comparisons over the past four weeks for these eight major indexes. I've also included the average for each week so that we can evaluate the performance of a specific index relative to the overall mean and better understand weekly volatility. The colors for each index name help us visualize the comparative performance over time.
The chart below illustrates the comparative performance of World Markets since March 9, 2009. The start date is arbitrary: The S&P 500, CAC 40 and BSE SENSEX hit their lows on March 9th, the Nikkei 225 on March 10th, the DAX on March 6th, the FTSE on March 3rd, the Shanghai Composite on November 4, 2008, and the Hang Seng even earlier on October 27, 2008. However, by aligning on the same day and measuring the percent change, we get a better sense of the relative performance than if we align the lows.
A Longer Look Back
Here is the same chart starting from the turn of 21st century. The relative over-performance of the emerging markets (Shanghai, Mumbai SENSEX and Hang Seng) up to their 2007 peaks is evident, and the SENSEX remains by far the top performer. The Shanghai, in contrast, formed a perfect Eiffel Tower from late 2006 to late 2009.
Check back next week for a new update.