April Began Path of Recovery for World Equity Markets

Strong returns in April helped world equity markets bounce back from a bad start in 2008, according to data from Standard&Poor’s.

S&P’s The World By Numbers reported that developed markets posted a 5.15% gain in April after losing 8.95% in March, and emerging markets climbed 7.49% in April after falling 5.11% the month before. (See World Equity Markets Off to a Bad Start)

Norway produced the only double-digit developed market gain in April at 11.25%, according to an S&P news release. Other frontrunners were Japan (+6.61%) and the United Kingdom (+5.85%).

S&P said 24 of the 26 markets were up for the month, with only slight losses posted by both Finland (-1.34%) and Denmark (-0.21%).

In emerging markets, double-digit gains were posted during April for both China (+15.10% versus -12.36% in March) and India (+11.49% versus -12.35% in March). Six of the 26 markets posted double-digit gains, with 16 markets increasing and 10 declining. Turkey made a strong rebound from a 20.09% loss in March to lead all markets with a 15.75% gain in April, the release said.

All 10 sectors posted gains in April—the first time since October 2007. Energy profited the most in the month posting a 12.05% gain. Materials (+6.61%) and Financials (+6.64%) also had strong returns. Consumer Staples performed the worst, posting a slight gain of 0.44%.

Growth stocks (+5.67%) outperformed Value (+4.61%) for April, with a much wider variance in the Asian-Pacific markets where growth prospects produced a 9% increase versus 4.99% for value. The wider variance was also noted in Japan (growth +14.83% versus value +5.79%).

The S&P/Citigroup World By Numbers report for April can be accessed at www.worldbynumbers.standardandpoors.com.