As investors scurried for cover in the face of economic uncertainty, global stock markets were walloped with a collective loss of $5.2 trillion in the month of January a report showed Feb.8. Standard & Poor's said 50 of the 52 main global equity markets lost ground in January.
Emerging markets fell an average of 12.4% and developed markets lost 7.8% to register one of the worst ever starts to a new year, S&P said as it released its global stock market review.
"There were few safe havens in January as 50 of the 52 global equity markets ended the month in negative territory, with 25 of them posting double- digit losses," said Howard Silverblatt, a senior analyst at S&P. "High volatility, quick turnarounds in both the market and investor sentiment, and drastically lower stock prices prevailed throughout the month."
All 26 developed equity markets posted negative returns in January, with 16 losing at least 10% of their value.
The only markets to see gains were in Morocco (up 10.2%) and Jordan (up 3.1%).
Turkey was hit hardest during the month losing 22.7% followed by China (21.4%), Russia (16.1%) and India (16%).
The decline in the U.S. was comparatively mild at 6.1%, but German shares slumped 13.7% and French stocks lost 12.3%. British share prices gave back 8.8% in January and Japanese stocks lost 4.5%, according to S&P, which calculated the figures on a U.S. dollar basis.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008