Emerging Markets Best Performer in 2006

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, Standard&Poor’s said.

A Standard & Poor’s news release said emerging markets gained 5.44% in December, while developed markets were up 1.97% for the month. Developed market returns (+20.63%) trailed that of emerging markets (+38.56%) in 2006.

In December, 24 of the 27 developed markets posted an average gain of 4.29%, with declines in Canada (-0.54%), Iceland (-0.35%) and South Korea (-0.01%), according to the news release. The emerging markets posted gains in 22 of the 26 markets with an average gain of 6.3%. The emerging markets had more pronounced dips: Israel (-1.53%), Jordan (-3.00%), Pakistan (-6.40%) and Thailand (-9.24%).

For the year, all 27 developed markets were up an average of 35.15%, while 23 of the 26 emerging markets headed north by an average of 45.46%. The lagging markets during the year included Israel (-3.46%), Jordan (-35.56%) and Turkey (-2.04%).

Examining the market by sectors, eight out of the 10 showed were positive in December, with Telecommunications as the best-performing sector gaining 3.65%, and Energy as the worst with a 1.47% decline. At year-end 2006, Utilities was the best sector with 36.92%, while Information Technology was the worst at 9.49%.

A full copy of the S&P/Citigroup World by Numbers Report for December is at www.standardandpoors.com/indices.