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World equity markets bounce back in April

Thursday 8th May 2008

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The world's developed and emerging markets have seen impressive returns in April.

According to Standards & Poor's monthly global stock market review, The World Numbers, developed markets posted a 5.15% gain in April after losing 8.95% in March. Likewise, emerging markets climbed 7.49% in April after falling 5.11% the month before.

"Global equity markets reversed direction in April as optimism prevailed based on the hope and belief that the world, and especially the United States, is near the bottom of the problems facing the credit market," says Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P.

Developed world markets gains were due to higher returns from Japan, showing 6.61% and the United Kingdom, showing a 5.85% return. Twenty-four of the 26 markets were up for the month, with only slight losses posted by both Finland (-1.34%) and Denmark (-0.21%). While April produced only one double-digit developed market gain - Norway, with an 11.25% return, the lower returns were accompanied by lower volatility.

The Emerging markets' reversed direction saw double-digits posted for both China, on 15.10%, after declining 12.36% in March, and India which posed an 11.49% increase versus a March decrease of 12.35%. In all, six of the 26 markets posted double-digit gains, with 16 markets increasing and 10 declining.

Turkey rebounded during the month from its 20.09% loss in March to lead all markets with a 15.75% gain in April.

All 10 sectors posted gains in April, an event not seen since October 2007. Energy profited the most in April posting a 12.05% gain, with materials, up 6.61% also strong during the month. Financials, up 6.64%, rebounded during the month, but still remain off for the year (-16.03). Consumer Staples performed the worst, posting a slight gain of 0.44%.

Growth stocks (+5.67%) outperformed value (+4.61%) for April.

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