Global Equity Retreats from January Advance

March 3, 2006 ( - After a 5% advance in January, Global Equity Markets fell 0.24% for February, according to data from Standard & Poor's (S&P).

Europe again posted the best regional returns during the month, with a gain, the S&P data showed.   However, that was not enough to offset the Asia Pacific and North American losses of 1.55% and 0.23% respectively.

One reason for the market drop:“Of all the developed world currencies, only the Japanese yen, Singapore dollar and Canadian dollar rose against the US dollar in February,” said Nicholas Aninos, analyst at S&P’s Index Services, in a press release.

The European smaller-cap Extended Market Index (EMI) rose 2.22% for the month, which was the best regional return, large or small cap.  The next strongest regional performance was the European larger-cap Primary Market Index (PMI), which gained 0.02% for the month. 

Plummeting from its 11.09% gain in January, the S&P/Citigroup Emerging Market Index only managed a 0.80% gain for February.   European Emerging markets led the way in February with a 5.59% gain. 

The sectors as defined by GICS that posted the best returns in January posted the worst returns in February, S&P said.  The Energy sector lost 8.08% during the month while the Materials sector lost 1.54%.  The best performing sectors were Utilities and Financials, which gained 2.63% and 2.11% respectively during February.

The S&P/Citigroup World by Numbers report for February can be accessed at .