Broker Check

International Market Performance in September

| October 08, 2021
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Most international and emerging markets were way down last month

Over every single time period, market performance around the world will be driven largely by factors one would expect, including:

  • The overall state of a country’s economy (there are 195 countries in the world);
  • Underlying corporate earnings of companies on global stock exchanges (there are 60 global stock exchanges listing thousands of companies); and
  • Current and predicted currency fluctuations (there are over 180 currencies recognized by the United Nations).

Reviewing the performance for various indices that track international markets during the month of September (a very short time-period), two things become very clear:

  • First, international markets do not move in lock-step with one another and will often provide very divergent returns for investors – depending on timing and
  • Second, September continued to see significant divergence in the performance of international indices, with the spread between the best (+3.50%) and the worst (-11.39%) quite wide.

International Highlights In September

International equity markets were overwhelmingly down for the month of September, reversing a string of mostly positive numbers from previous months.

In fact, investors looking outside the U.S. saw negative performance almost everywhere, as 35 of the 36 developed-international markets and 32 of the 40 emerging markets tracked by MSCI were negative for the month of September. And the spread between the best (EM Eastern Europe Index up 3.50%) and worst (EFM Latin America & Caribbean index down 11.39%) was quite wide.

Major Developed-International Markets

Index Returns

September 2021

MSCI EAFE

-3.19%

MSCI EURO

-4.94%

MSCI FAR EAST

+1.01%

MSCI G7 INDEX

-4.11%

MSCI NORTH AMERICA

-4.73%

MSCI PACIFIC

-0.05%

MSCI PACIFIC EX-JAPAN

-4.29%

MSCI WORLD

-4.29%

MSCI WORLD EX-USA

-3.15%

Source: MSCI. Past performance cannot guarantee future results

Best Developed-International Markets

Overall, 35 of the 36 developed-international markets tracked by MSCI were negative for the month of September. Here are the two best and worst for the month:

Index Returns

Rank

September 2021

MSCI FAR EAST

#1 of 40

+1.01%

MSCI PACIFIC

#2 of 40

-0.05%

Worst Developed-International Markets

Index Returns

Rank

September 2021

MSCI EUROPE ex UK

#39 of 40

-5.55%

MSCI EMERGING MARKETS TOP 100 SELECT INDEX

#40 of 40

-6.03%

 Emerging Markets

Although the performance for emerging markets was not quite as bad relative to developed-international markets, it wasn’t good either, as 32 of the 40 emerging markets were negative in September. Here are the two best and worst for the month:

Best Emerging Markets

Index Returns

Rank

September 2021

MSCI EM EASTERN EUROPE

#1 of 32

+3.50%

MSCI EM EUROPE

#2 of 32

+2.39%

Worst Emerging Markets

Index Returns

Rank

September 2021

MSCI EM LATIN AMERICA

#39 of 40

-11.39%

MSCI EFM LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN INDEX

#40 of 40

-11.39%

What Does It Mean for Investors?

At a very basic level, the differences in returns for international markets support two fundamental principles of financial planning – asset allocation and diversification.

And given that the typical investor has less than 15% exposure to international markets, maybe at your next portfolio review, we can revisit and discuss your specific asset allocation and diversification so that we can ensure that your portfolio is consistent with your risk profile and personal goals.

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