Emerging Market Stocks Are Taking The Gold

An imaginary stadium is modelled and rendered.

Macro Commentary

It is a slow week when the biggest international news is the medal count at the Olympics.  While the Games seem to be going fine generally, there is report after report of mishaps.  The list includes ticketholders not being able to get into arenas because of long lines, food and water shortages at the events, volunteers either not showing up or not being called up despite offering to help, and even the swimming pool turning green because of insufficient chemical treatment.  To top it all off, the Brazilian Senate approved moving forward with an impeachment process for President Dilma Rousseff.   Great timing!  That should put the right marketing spin on it.  While the political situation lay in rubble and the economy remains stagnant, you could not tell by looking at the Brazilian stock market. The Bovespa stock index is up over 30% year-to-date in local terms and even better in US dollar terms.  The Brazilian real is up 22% versus the greenback in the last six months alone.  The run has contributed to the broader emerging market index being up over 15% year-to-date, outperforming the US equity market for the first time in a long time.  Perhaps it is the rally in commodities which historically has helped some of the larger emerging markets or the market’s view that growth instability and a balance of payments challenge is in the rear view, but either way with equity valuations remaining at a relatively high discount to the developed world the emerging market stock market could be standing on the top podium for a while longer.

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