This commentary was issued recently by money managers, research firms, and market newsletter writers and has been edited by Barron’s.
Dec. 22: Global equities as measured by the MSCI ACWI Index of global large- and mid-cap stocks rose a healthy 16.3% year to date, as of Dec. 17. However, when U.S. stocks are excluded, whereas the S&P 500 index advanced by 23%, the international equity markets gained a modest 6.2%, according to the MSCI ACWI-ex USA Index.
This number hides great variation among markets. The advanced-economy markets, with the MSCI EAFE Index up 9.5%, continued to outperform the emerging markets, where the MSCI Emerging Market Index lost 3.3%. An unexpected slowdown in China in the second half, resulting from Covid outbreaks, restrictive government actions affecting the technology and internet sectors, and financial problems in the important real estate sector, hit earlier highflying Chinese equities, with the MSCI China Index down 21.3% year to date (as of Dec. 17).
Aside from China stocks, emerging markets as a group have performed almost as well as advanced ones, with the MSCI Emerging Markets-ex China Index gaining 8.4%. There have been wide differences in the performance of individual national markets, with a number of Asian markets outperforming and Latin American markets generally underperforming. Similarly, advanced-economy market performance varied, with France, Sweden, Switzerland, and Canada outperforming and Japan underperforming. While many…