S&P Finds Mixed January Global Equity Picture

February 13, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The global equity markets turned in a mixed performance in January with emerging markets slightly giving up ground and developed markets gaining territory, according to new Standard & Poor's data.

According to a Standard & Poor’s news release about its global stock market review, emerging markets dropped by 0.11% over the month while developed markets pulled ahead by 1.20%. However, developed market returns trailed emerging markets for both the three- and 12-month periods, S&P said.

The S&P data indicated that in January, 21 of the 27 developed markets posted an average gain of 3.27%, with substantial declines in Ireland (-4.09%) and South Korea (-5.96%).  The emerging markets had mixed results, with 15 of the 26 gaining (7.49%) and 11 losing (-6.44%) for the month.

Posting impressive returns were Nigeria (20.07%) and Pakistan (14.42%).  In January, Jordan had a 13.81% recovery, returning the market to positive territory for the three-month period with a 1.62% gain.  For the month, Venezuela’s loss was significant, wiping out prior impressive gains, as investors sold the index down 33.95% because of economic and political concerns, the S&P data indicated.

For the month, eight of the 10 economic sectors showed gains, with Industrials as the best-performing sector at 2.72%.  Energy remained the worst performer with a 2.59% decline due to concern over oil prices and production. 

Performance remained mixed for the sectors in January, with strong gains posted for Internet Software and Services (7.06%), Marine Transportations (6.15%) and Building Products (5.80%), while there were significant givebacks in Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment issues (-1.73%) as well as Oil, Gas and Consumable Fuels (-2.69%).

“Major markets continued to gain in January, as shareholder confidence grew,” says Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at Standard & Poor’s, in the news release.  “Energy, however, was the notable exception, as oil prices initially dropped and then climbed back up as normal weather patterns returned at month end.  Also influencing the market was Natural Gas, which increased 20.8% in four-weeks but was still off 35.1% over the last year.”

More information on the January report is  here .

S&P reported in January that the world’s emerging and developed markets continued to stay in positive territory in December, making a full year of positive results as oil prices remained low. (See  Emerging, Developed Markets Stayed in the Black in 2006 ).