World equity markets lost an estimated $5.79trn during October in their worst month in history, according to Standard & Poor's Index Services.
The research, measured in dollar change to investor-held equity accounts, showed that in October global equity markets lost 45% more than September’s -$4trn. S&P believes approximately $16.22trn has been lost year-to-date (to 31 October).
Perhaps surprisingly, Jordan was the world’s best-performing market year-to-date, falling 13.67%, and 14.49% in October, compared with the average world equity market dive of 27.47% in October and 49.30% year-to-date.
Pakistan was the most resilient market in October, losing just 4.23%, followed by Morocco with -11.5%, which also ranked second year-to-date, declining 16.23%.
While the emerging markets fared better on the whole, Russia, Indonesia and India all suffered market losses of over 60% year-to-date.
Switzerland had the best market performance out of developed countries in October and year-to-date, dropping 12.7% and 30.09% respectively. The US market lost 18.04% in October and 33.99% year-to-date, while the UK market declined by 19.87% in October and 45.53% year-to-date.
The biggest market loser in both categories was Iceland, plunging 42.84% in October and 82.38% year-to-date.
“What do you get when you add the underlying concern of the economy and the fear of a worldwide recession to a market already devastated by credit issues? You get the worst-ever month for global equity markets in modern history,” said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P.
He believes one of the better-performing markets over the past five months, the US, has been overlooked, although losses are still substantial.
“To some extent, the much higher expectations of non-US growth, as well as the expected US decoupling, have caused a much stronger market decline abroad. As a result, the US now represents 45.9% of all global equity issues, compared with 40.5% at the end of May,” he added.
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