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World equity markets hit hard in first quarter

Monday 14th April 2008

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The world's emerging and developed equity markets were hit hard during the first quarter of 2008, losing 10.56% and 8.95% respectively during the first three months of the year.

These figures were released today as part of Standard & Poor's monthly global stock market review, The World by Numbers.

Market volatility was fuelled by "near record commodity prices, 10-year US treasury rates approaching their lowest level, a struggling dollar, and the potential global impact of a perceived US recession," according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P.

For the first three months of 2008, all but one developed equity market showed a positive return. Of the 26 developed markets, only Luxembourg gained ground, posting a 2.09% growth. The hardest hit were Iceland, which lost 32.36%, Hong Kong, losing 18.07% and Greece, which lost 14.90%.

In emerging world equity markets, 15 of the 26 countries lost ground during the quarter. The best performing markets were Morocco, up 23.81%, Pakistan, up 10.25% and Chile, showing 8.50% growth. The worst performing were Turkey, losing 36.62%, India, showing a 28.55% loss and China, with a 24.65% decrease in growth.

For the month of March, world equity markets lost 1.09% and emerging equity markets fell 5.11%.

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