NEPC: Emerging Markets Boost Global Equities in August

MSCI EM Index currently at 28.3% returns in 2017.

Emerging markets drove global equities to close out August in the black, ending the summer on a mostly high note, according to NEPC.

Bolstered by a weak dollar and positive economic data from China, the MSCI EM Index rose 2.2%. After nine consecutive months of gains, the benchmark has so far returned 28.3% for the year. On the other side of the globe, the S&P 500 had a 0.3% gain, up 11.9% for the year. The MSCI EAFE was flat in August, but is still leading in domestic equities with 17% year-to-date returns.

The 10-year Treasury yield in fixed-income was at 2.12%, down 18 basis points from the beginning of August, resulting in gains for long-duration fixed-income debt. The Barclays Long Treasury Index increased 3.4% and the Barclays Long Credit Index rose 1.5%. According to the JPMorgan GBI-EM Global Diversified Index, emerging market bonds were up 1.8%, thanks to a stronger Russian ruble.

In addition, the VIX jumped 3.2% to 10.59 in August, despite worries about North Korea’s expanding nuclear arsenal. Gold reached a one-year high, rising 4.1%.

The chart for August’s markets roundup can be viewed below.

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