Geopolitics makes last month “a September to forget”

Geopolitical risks in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Hong Kong, as well as a weak eurozone economy, made last month what S&P Dow Jones Indices calls “a September to

forget”.

Data from the index provider shows global markets pulled back last month, pushing 39 out of the 48 markets it tracks into the red.

Emerging markets lost 6.84% in September, with Turkey down 11.93%, Greece 14.51% and Brazil 19.29%. These three countries were the worst performers in the S&P Emerging Market Index.

Egypt was the best performer in the index with a return of 4.21%, followed by the Czech Republic with 2.77% and Morocco, which returned 2.23%.

Developed markets also declined, with an overall loss of 3.36%. Austria lost 7.46%, New Zealand lost 7.72% and Australia lost 12.03%.

Even the better-performing markets in the S&P Developed Market Index went negative. Israel was the only developed market to post a gain, of 0.41%, while Denmark lost 0.93% and the Netherlands 1.75%.

“It was a September to forget, as global markets pulled back in the face of a perceived weaker Europe and lower demand for commodities, and oil prices continued to be weak,” says Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst, S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“Geopolitical issues centred on the US-Isis situation, as the US and its coalition of countries took their air strikes against Isis to Syria, where a separate civil war has been underway for over three years.”

Silverblatt also cast a note of caution on China, where he says growth needs to be redefined to achieve its goal.

Adding to geopolitical tensions were month-end pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which were factored into September data.

“At this point, the protests were met with limited and unsuccessful Chinese efforts to control them,” he adds. “This made markets very jittery, as they declined, since how far the protests would be permitted to go and by what means they might be controlled remained large unknown factors.”

©2014 funds europe

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