InvestmentsDec 3 2018

Emerging markets top performance charts

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Emerging markets top performance charts

Investors in emerging market assets, who have endured a torrid 2018, received some reward in November as the asset class topped the performance charts.

Data from FE Analytics showed the top performing market in November was the Hang Seng Index of shares listed in Hong Kong, which returned 4.4 per cent in the month.

The broader MSCI Emerging Markets index returned 1.6 per cent, roughly four times the return of the MSCI All Country World Index in the period.

The best performing developed market index was the Topix in Japan, which returned 2.1 per cent.

Meanwhile all of the various UK indices produced a negative return during the month, while the US market produced a positive return of 0.6 per cent.

The bright month for emerging markets hardly compensates investors for the year they have endured with the asset class, however.

The MSCI Emerging Markets index has lost 12 per cent so far in 2018, compared with a negative return of 0.5 per cent for the All Country World Index.

Ben Yearsley, director at Shore Capital, said: "After recent falls had left emerging markets looking cheap on many metrics, at some point the risk hungry investor was going to come back in.

"It appears that the sharp fall in the price of oil could be the catalyst, especially for the likes of India. For long term investors who can ride out the uncertainty today’s valuations are attractive."

In terms of individual funds, the best performer was Baillie Gifford Japanese Smaller Companies, which returned 11 per cent, with the next best performers being funds focused on Indian equities.

The worst performing fund in November was the £2bn Merian UK Mid Cap fund, managed by Richard Watts. The fund has a very strong long-term track record, but lost 9 per cent in November.

The Merian Small Cap fund, and Woodford Income Focus fund, were other well established mandates to endure a tough November.

Mr Yearsley said: "India was the standout performer occupying four of the top five positions. It is no surprise to see India doing well as the oil price fell from $73 (£57) at the start of November to close at just under $59 (£46) by the month end.

"India is a massive net importer of oil, so a falling price helps fight inflation and goes straight into the pockets of the Indian consumer."

Andrew Bell, chief executive of the Witan Investment trust, a global fund of funds, said: "There is an enhanced risk premium covering UK equities, especially those exposed to the domestic economy, for reasons that are obvious.