Slump wipes out $17T in global stock values

Published by rudy Date posted on January 8, 2009

NEW YORK (AFP) – The nightmarish stock market performance in 2008 erased some 17 trillion dollars in share value worldwide, a Standard & Poor’s report said Tuesday.

S&P’s estimate is based the value of its Global Broad Market Indices, comprised of 46 major stock indexes around the world.

Emerging market indexes fell 54.72 percent and developed markets dropped 42.72 percent for the year, according to S&P.

The losses, coming in a year that was the worst in many countries since the Great Depression, were moderated somewhat by a modest rebound in December, with 19 of the 21 emerging markets and 22 of the 25 developed markets posting gains during the month.

“A glimmer of hope — that is how we can define December,” says Howard Silverblatt, analyst at Standard & Poor’s and author of the report.

“As central banks race to reduce rates, add liquidity and shore up their local economy, markets remain cautiously optimistic as we move into 2009. However, as evident by the huge stockpiles of cash still on the sidelines, many world markets are taking a wait-and-see approach. The result is a continuance of extreme market volatility.”

Among the worst performers in 2008 were the “BRIC” countries: Brazil (down 57.35 percent), Russia (73.67 percent), India (64.51 percent), and China (53.21 percent), according to S&P.

Morocco was the best performer among emerging market countries, limiting its loss to 15.85 percent. The second-best performer was Israel, with a loss of 34.68 percent.

In developed markets, Ireland was the worst with a loss of 69.94 percent, followed by Greece (66.50 percent) and Norway (66.07 percent).

S&P said its Japan index was the best among developed nations with a loss of 29.22 percent, followed by Switzerland (30.60 percent) and the United States (38.68 percent). The US market was the third “best” performer among developed markets and fifth best among all global equity markets.

Among various sectors, financials lost 53.77 percent and materials lost 52.9, representing the two worst industries. The energy sector plunged 44.5 percent.

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