Over the month, returns were negative across most regions, with the exception of markets in Asia where the FTSE Asean index climbed almost 4% in US dollar terms, thanks to Indonesia, which increased by 5.6% and Malaysia, up by 3.7%. Elsewhere, the FTSE All-World Asia Pacific Ex-Japan lifted by less than 1%.
Finland was this month?s worst performer after profit warnings from Nokia, the largest component of its index, sent the index tumbling down by 19.14% and dragging the Nordic index down by 9%. On the other hand, Peru was June?s top performer, its index increasing by 9.7% over the month.
Mediterranean countries also experienced heavy losses, with Greece falling 12.4%, Portugal down by 8.2% and Spain receding by 7.1%.
New economy stocks continued to suffer amid a steady stream of profit warnings, with the IT Hardware sector falling by 17.7%, the Software and Computer Services sector down by 12.6% and the Telecommunication Services sector falling by 10.5%, pulled down by KPN, the Dutch telecom group, which fell by 39.3% and the UK?s Colt Telecom, which lost a third of its value.
On the other hand, defensive plays in Diversified Industrials, which increased by 5.6%, Food Producers and Processors, up 5%, and the Life Assurance sector, which increased by 3.3%, boosted by a 14.7% return from Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance, came out on top.
Investors traded their technology stocks for pharmaceuticals this month, boosting Belgian drugs and chemicals manufacturer UCB?s stock to a 17.6% return, June’s top performer and Altana, the German drugs group, which rose 16.3%, also benefiting from the news that the US Food and Drug Administration’s extended approval of its gastrointestinal drug.
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