They say that a rising tide lifts all boats. Well, in the case of the world’s stock markets, a weakening US Dollar played the part of the rising tide this month, as the All Country World Stock Index (ACWI) moved into positive territory for the first time this year. The ACWI was up over 8% from the close on February 29th through the high on March 30th, buoyed by resurging emerging market stocks. One of the reasons for the emerging market uptrend is that many of the state-owned-enterprises (SOEs) that make up significant portions of the emerging market indices have large amounts of US dollar denominated debts. With the precipitous drop in energy prices, the commodity driven SOEs have not produced the profits they once could when oil was trading for over $100 a barrel. For SOEs, borrowing in US dollars has turned out to be an expensive endeavor. With the weakening of the dollar, it gives these companies a chance to strengthen their balance sheets and in March, investors across the globe reflected that they too recognized this opportunity.
The discussions and opinions in this market summary are for general information only, and are not intended to provide investment advice. While taken from sources deemed to be accurate, Ballentine Partners makes no representations about the accuracy of the information in the market summary or its appropriateness for any given situation. Past performance of the indices shown is not necessarily indicative of future results.