S. Korean equities down in Emerging Markets Index

South Korean market returns underperformed the The Russell Emerging Markets ex-GCC Index, declining 6.1 percent year-to-date, according to a new report.

Russell Investments published this finding in a summary of results from the Russell Global Index, which tracks 10,000 securities in 48 countries and covers 98 percent of the investable global market.

The report shows that, in comparison, yields in South Korea outperformed the index in 2012 with an 18.1 percent return. The Russell Emerging Markets ex-GCC Index has returned -2.4 percent year-to-date as of April 16 after returning 17.3 percent in 2012.

Other emerging market yields also suffered steep declines this year relative to last. Among the worst performers, the report shows:

  • Egypt (-9.0 percent in 2013 vs.45.2 percent in 2012);
  • Columbia (-8.1 percent vs. 29.3 percent); and
  • China (-5.2 percent vs. 18.4 percent).

Emerging markets in negative territory this year also included:

  • Brazil: (-2.4 percent in 2013 vs. +17.3  in 2012); and
  • India: (-3.9 percent vs. 23.8 percent).

"The wide variation of performance among emerging equity markets as defined by the Russell Emerging Markets ex-GCC Index since the beginning of the year and relative to 2012 helps to illustrate the diverse nature of investment opportunities and risks across less mature equity markets," says Scott Crawshaw, emerging markets portfolio manager for Russell Investments in a prepared statement. "And South Korea's equity market downturn thus far this year appears to demonstrate the role that political uncertainty and fluctuations in global currencies can play in local market sentiment and investment performance." 

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