The MSCI Emerging Markets index has gained almost a tenth since 1 January. Since early 2016 it has jumped by 83%, and is now close to its 2007 all-time high. Global investors poured $7.9bn into emerging-market equity funds last week, a record five-day tally, says Morgan Stanley.
You can see why. Emerging markets are a geared play on global growth because they tend to be more reliant on trade than the industrialised world. Global growth hasn't been this robust since the crisis, while the World Bank is pencilling in growth of 4.5% in emerging markets this year, up from 4.3% last year. A weak dollar is another key ingredient in the emerging-market rally.
Whenever the greenback looks set to strengthen, assets in the world's biggest economy become more appealing to global investors; risky ones, such as emerging markets, less so.
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The US administration's protectionist tendencies bear watching, but "for all Trump's talk [emerging-market] exports to the US increased by about 7% during his first year in office", says Capital Economics.
The proportion of US imports subject to trade restrictions has risen steadily since 2013, but this appears to have had scant impact on developing-country exports. The latest measures amount to little. Investors will hope that his bark remains worse than his bite.
Andrew is the editor of MoneyWeek magazine. He grew up in Vienna and studied at the University of St Andrews, where he gained a first-class MA in geography & international relations.
After graduating he began to contribute to the foreign page of The Week and soon afterwards joined MoneyWeek at its inception in October 2000. He helped Merryn Somerset Webb establish it as Britain’s best-selling financial magazine, contributing to every section of the publication and specialising in macroeconomics and stockmarkets, before going part-time.
His freelance projects have included a 2009 relaunch of The Pharma Letter, where he covered corporate news and political developments in the German pharmaceuticals market for two years, and a multiyear stint as deputy editor of the Barclays account at Redwood, a marketing agency.
Andrew has been editing MoneyWeek since 2018, and continues to specialise in investment and news in German-speaking countries owing to his fluent command of the language.
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