Singapore, Feb 11: If investors thought the market could only go up, January's wake-up call pulled them back into reality. Standard&Poor's (S&P), world's leading index provider, announced today that world equity markets lost a combined 5.2 trillion dollars in January as emerging markets fell 12.44 per cent and developed markets lost 7.83 per cent to register one of the worst ever starts to a new year.
These figures and more were released today as part of S&P's global stock market review, 'The World by Numbers'. ''There were few safe havens in January as 50 of the 52 global equity markets ended the month in negative territory, with 25 of them posting double-digit losses,'' says Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at S&P's.
''High volatility, quick turnarounds in both the market and investor sentiment, and drastically lower stock prices prevailed throughout the month,'' he added.
All 26 developed equity markets posted negative returns in January, with 16 losing at least 10 per cent of their value.
The January declines negated all previous market gains, leaving all of the developed markets in the red for the trailing 3-month period. Twelve-month returns were mixed with 15 developed markets in positive territory and eleven in the red (six with double-digit negative returns).
Despite gains by Morocco (+10.17 per cent) and Jordan (+3.11 per cent), the world's emerging equity markets were devastated in January, posting an average loss of 12.44 per cent.
Turkey was hit hardest during the month losing 22.70 per cent followed by China (-21.40 per cent), Russia (-16.12 per cent) and India (-16.00 per cent).
Only five emerging markets remain positive for the 3-month period ending January. Only Argentina and Taiwan slipped into negative territory for the 12-month period. All ten GICS sectors posted losses in January in contrast to October and September when all ten were in positive territory. Information Technology posted a broad 11.57 per cent influenced mostly to US losses (ex U.S. -9.48 per cent).
The Energy sector remained close behind at -11.45 per cent. In general, non-US Consumer related (Discretionary and Staples) issues did worse than their US counterparts, as did Financials. Value (-6.98 per cent) continued to outperform growth (-8.63 per cent), although both declined for the month. Asian Pacific Growth dropped 15.95 per cent and European Value declined 17.05 per cent for the 3-month period.