MSCI indices show strong Q1 returns
Global markets showed significant positive returns in Q12012, MSCI’s indices have shown.
Growth was particularly strong in emerging markets, while political uncertainty hit the Middle Eastern frontier markets.
MSCI’s Q1 2012 results show widespread double digit returns across all size segments. The MSCI ACWI IMI comprised of close to 9,000 large, mid and small cap securities across 24 Developed and 21 Emerging Markets countries returned 11.56%, from a negative annual return of -9.87% for 2011.
Emerging markets outperformed developed and frontier markets, with the MSCI Emerging Market Index returning 13.65% in the quarter, after a loss of -20.6% in 2011. Slowdowns among the major markets were offset by renewed confidence in the peripheral markets. Egypt was the top single country index performer, with returns of 40.51%. All emerging market single country indexes showed positive returns.
Meanwhile frontier markets were slower, with the main index growing by only 3.96%. The Middle East frontier markets suffered from political uncertainty, with Quatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman showing little growth. Meanwhile, outside the Middle East there was stronger performance, with the Kazakhstan Index growing by 32.4% and strong showings from Romania and Vietnam.
The MSCI Developed Markets performed well, with the MSCI World index posting a return of 10.94% for the quarter. The Nordic index returned 14.64% for Q1 2012, while the MSCI EMU Index returned 12.20% over the quarter, as the sovereign debt crisis eased and fears of a Greek withdrawal receded. The North America index returned 11.66%. The MSCI Germany, MSCI Singapore and MSCI Belgium indices were the top performing developed markets country indices for the quarter, returning 20.52%, 19.06%, and 18.89% respectively, while the Spain index lost -4.28% in the quarter.