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World Markets Weekend Update: The Worst Week of 2015

  • Written by Syndicated Publisher No Comments Comments
    May 3, 2015

    Six of the eight indexes on our world watch list traded lower this week, with China’s Shanghai Composite as the top performer for the third consecutive week, gaining 1.89% in holiday shortened week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was the other index to post a gain, albeit a modest 0.26%. The S&P 500 was the best performing loser, down only 0.44%. The losses for the other five index ranged from -1.20% for the FTSE 100 to -4.18% for France’s CAC 40. The -1.34% weekly average of the eight is the worst collective performance of 2015.

    The Shanghai Composite looks to be in bubble mode, up 95% from its interim trough in late October.

    Here is an overlay of the eight for a sense of their comparative performance so far in 2015.

    Here is a table of the 2015 data performance, sorted from high to low, along with the interim highs for the eight indexes. Seven of the eight indexes are in the green, with China’s 38.4% as the outlier at the top.

    A Closer Look at the Last Four Weeks

    The tables below provide a concise overview of performance comparisons over the past four weeks (through year’s end) 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.

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    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.

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    Click for a larger image

    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 consistency with the other indexes, which do not include dividends.

    All the indexes are calculated in their local currencies.

    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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