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World Market Update: Europe Is Rising

  • Written by Syndicated Publisher No Comments Comments
    January 21, 2014

    Over the past week, five of the eight indexes on my world markets watch lists posted gains. Germany’s DAXK was the standout with a 2.85% advance, followed by France’s CAC 40, up 1.81%. India’s SENSEX, the UK’s FTSE 100 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng were clustered in the 1.26%-1.47% range. The S&P 500 fared the best of the weekly losers, down a fractional 0.20%. Japan’s Nikkei 225, last year’s stellar performer, fared worst, down 1.12%, although that’s an improvement from its 2.33% selloff the previous week.

    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 a mortifying 42.24% from its interim high of August 2009. At the other end, the DAXK has set a new high with the CAC 40 and FTSE 100 close behind. The S&P 500 is 0.52% off its all-time high set at mid-week.

    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. So far, the losers outnumber the winners.

    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.

     


    Note from dshort: I track Germany’s DAXK a price-only index, instead of the more familiar DAX index (which includes dividends), for constency with the other indexes, which do not include dividends.

    Images: Flickr (licence attribution)

    About The Author

    My original dshort.com website was launched in February 2005 using a domain name based on my real name, Doug Short. I’m a formerly retired first wave boomer with a Ph.D. in English from Duke. Now my website has been acquired byAdvisor Perspectives, where I have been appointed the Vice President of Research.

    My first career was a faculty position at North Carolina State University, where I achieved the rank of Full Professor in 1983. During the early ’80s I got hooked on academic uses of microcomputers for research and instruction. In 1983, I co-directed the Sixth International Conference on Computers and the Humanities. An IBM executive who attended the conference made me a job offer I couldn’t refuse.

    Thus began my new career as a Higher Education Consultant for IBM — an ambassador for Information Technology to major universities around the country. After 12 years with Big Blue, I grew tired of the constant travel and left for a series of IT management positions in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. I concluded my IT career managing the group responsible for email and research databases at GlaxoSmithKline until my retirement in 2006.

    Contrary to what many visitors assume based on my last name, I’m not a bearish short seller. It’s true that some of my content has been a bit pessimistic in recent years. But I believe this is a result of economic realities and not a personal bias. For the record, my efforts to educate others about bear markets date from November 2007, as this Motley Fool article attests.

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