Friday, 1 April 2016

With world's longest bull market and worst stock market, emerging markets may be vulnerable

According to Bloomberg, Malaysia's stock market has the longest bull run.

Malaysia’s energy exports are tumbling, its prime minister is battling corruption allegations and corporate profits are weakening. With all that, the Southeast Asian nation is also home to the world’s most resilient bull market for stocks.

Overseas funds are piling in at the fastest pace in Southeast Asia. Kuala Lumpur’s benchmark equity gauge has more than doubled from its 2008 lows without succumbing to a 20 percent drop. Tan Ming Han says he knows its secret: the lowest volatility among the region’s markets. It’s an environment where a growing army of investors are willing to miss out on the highest highs if that means they also avoid the biggest crashes.

In contrast, Bloomberg calls China the "world's worst stock market", although it said that the rebound in March "may extend into April".

However, emerging markets in general pose risks for investors. From Bloomberg:

Behind the best gains for emerging markets since 2009, there are some ominous signs that the rally is about to hit a wall.

The 13 percent surge in stocks last month was accompanied by the lowest trading volume for five years in the markets with the biggest advances and the weakest company profits for six. In the foreign-exchange market, currencies are mirroring moves in oil prices by the most since 2012, suggesting vulnerability to any renewed weakness in commodities.

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