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Monday, 20 November 2017

The disconnect between EM GDP growth and stock market performance can’t last forever, can it?

The disconnect between EM GDP growth and stock market performance can’t last forever, can it? That’s the contention of the Brookings Institution’s Eswar Prasad and Karim Foda (the latter spent a term doing research at the CBE about a decade ago) that gets plenty of ink this morning in the Wall Street Journal. The two found that “Over the past decade, emerging-market economies have nearly doubled in size, growing at an annualized rate of 6.6%, according to data from the International Monetary Fund. The MSCI Emerging Market stock index has climbed at an annualized rate of just 0.6% over that same decade.” What does this mean? There are four scenarios, only one of which we love: “Developed economies could accelerate much more than anyone expects, helping to justify their buoyant markets. Or developed markets could come down, better aligning with their growth. Emerging markets could also slow more than anyone currently expects, so their stock valuations look more justified. Or emerging-market stocks could boom, better aligning with their generally robust growth.” Read: Developed economies’ stock gains pale beside emerging markets’ GDP boom.

Conventional wisdom has it that rate hikes in the US are bad for EM. And Goldman Sachs apparently sees the Fed hiking rates four times next year, against an expectation of three rate increases in the wider community of rate-watchers, Reuters reports.

Are we nearing a market top, globally? While you’re reading the Journal, check out How to spot a market top, which marshals its inner Business Insider to argue, “the issue isn’t whether the market will crash, it is how much money investors will make, or lose, in the coming years. With cash sloshing around the global financial system, prices can go higher, but investors who buy at those prices shouldn’t expect their returns to match those earned in the past few years.”

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