Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cross-Talk: A Different Picture of Global Equity Returns

In my last post, I illustrated the global bear market across the U.S., Asia, and Europe via country-specific ETFs. A number of readers pointed out that some countries are up on the year, and that is correct.

In the graph above, I plotted year-to-date returns for the U.S. (SPY); Australia (EWA); Canada (EWC); Russia (RSX); South Africa (EZA); and Brazil (EWZ). I included these countries alongside the U.S. to illustrate the more favorable performance among resource-rich economies. The exception is South Africa which has seen a weak currency, power shortages, and social unrest over the past year.

As oil producers, Canada, Russia, and Brazil have performed positively, even as large oil consumers, such as China, have been relatively weak. Since mid-May, however, with some toppiness in oil prices and intimations of greater supply from the Saudis, even the stock markets of the oil producers have undergone a correction.