2011 hasn't been a great year for emerging stock markets so far

02/03/2011 3:50 pm EST

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

You probably have a sense that 2011 so far hasn’t been a very good year for emerging market stocks. Inflation fears, worries about interest rate increases, Egyptian turmoil, and a rising dollar that has depressed overseas stocks in dollar terms (the Brazilian real is down 1.7% for 2011 as of January 28, for example) have all taken a toll

How bad has it been exactly?

China is one of the best performers, down just 2.5% in dollar terms from January 1 through January 28, quite possibly because Chinese markets fell so much in 2010. Next best performer among emerging markets? Brazil, where stocks were down 5.5%. It just gets worse from there. Indonesia down 8%. Chile down 10.2%. Turkey down 10.8%. South Africa down 11.8%. India down 12.4%.

Russia bucked the trend with the ruble up 2.7% against the U.S. dollar and Russian stocks in dollar terms up 6.1%.

So when will these markets rally?

I’d look for a rally in emerging markets when/if the Egyptian crisis reaches some kind of stable state.

But I think the downward pressure from inflation and interest rate worries will limit that rally and keep these markets under pressure for a while yet. The middle of the year seems like a reasonable time to start looking for a turn in these markets.

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