Market Snapshot: Most Assets Hurting, but One Stock Market Bucked the Trend
Market Snapshot: September 2015
Deutsche Bank recently provided a graphical snapshot that covers the returns of a wide span of assets both YTD and since the mid-August meltdown. In addition, they added some market commentary on the situation investors find themselves in as they get back in gear for the autumn.
First, let’s recap the spring and summer. Chinese markets started the year with gusto, but lost all of the gains during the summer as the bubble burst. Equity markets in the U.S. soon followed, with the Dow shedding almost 2,000 points in August before beginning a small bounce back. Commodities have all been crushed thoroughly YTD and especially in the last two weeks of August.
Despite all of this, there is one stock market that has bucked these trends with outperformance.
That market belongs to Russia, where equities are up 26% on the year and have remained relatively flat since all other markets melted down in mid-August. Russian stocks are not rising because the country’s economy is healthy – they are up because it is less worse than investors thought.
The quick story on Russia: the country is in its worst recession since the Financial Crisis, and had its GDP shrink -4.6% up to Q2 of this year. The ruble has depreciated against the U.S. dollar by 16% YTD, and it also lost plenty of purchasing power last year as oil prices got hammered.
Many spectators had expected the re-emergence of a currency crisis similar to 1998. Adding in possible geopolitical tail risks, publications started to recommend ways to play the Russian crash. Instead, it seems so far that Russia has been able to stabilize better than expected, and as a result stocks have rewarded investors that weren’t so pessimistic.
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