World Equities Tumble In March

April 12, 2005 ( - The world's equity markets lost ground in March, with only Denmark, Iceland and Canada posting gains in the third month of the year.

According to Standard & Poor’s, the developed world’s equities – measured by the S&P/Citigroup Developed World Index – fell 1.98% in March, which resulted in a 0.67% loss in the first quarter.

Europe led the equity decline in March, dropping 2.48% on the month, while Asia Pacific and North American lost 2.32% and 1.61, respectively. S&P credited the large European decline to poor-performing economies, with many European Union countries overstepping their 3% GDP budget deficit limit during the month while trying to jump start their economies. However, even with the poor month of March, Europe was up 0.91% on the quarter, compared to a 1.73% loss for North America.

Both growth and value equities lost ground on the month in the developed world, according to S&P.

Looking at currencies, the US dollar strengthened against all developed world currencies except the Canadian dollar. For the quarter, only the Icelandic Krona and South Korean Won gained on the US dollar, S&P reported. Looking at the emerging market world, the Argentine Peso, Jordanian Dinar and Egyptian Pound increased in dollar terms in March.