World Markets Update: March 20, 2023
This article was originally written by Doug Short. From 2016-2022, it was improved upon and updated by Jill Mislinski. Starting in January 2023, AP Charts pages will be maintained by Jennifer Nash at Advisor Perspectives/VettaFi.
Five of eight indexes on our world watch list posted gains through March 20, 2023. France's CAC 40 finished in the top spot with a YTD gain of 8.33%. Germany's DAXK finished second with a YTD gain of 6.94%, and China's Shanghai moved to third with a YTD gain of 4.71%. London's FTSE 100 dropped into the red for the first time this year and is currently sitting at a YTD loss of 0.64%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is also in the red for a second consecutive week and India's BSE SENSEX finished last with a loss of 5.28% YTD. Note all indexes are calculated in their local currencies.
Here are all eight world indexes in 2023 and the associated table sorted by YTD.
World indexes and recent recessions
Let's start with a very recent chart with the latest recession. We've used February 3, 2020 for our start date (this is the official NBER recession start).
The chart below illustrates the comparative performance of world markets since March 9, 2009. The start date is arbitrary: The S&P 500, CAC 40 and BSE SENSEX hit their lows on March 9th, the Nikkei 225 on March 10th, the DAXK on March 6th, the FTSE on March 3rd, the Shanghai Composite on November 4, 2008, and the Hang Seng even earlier on October 27, 2008. However, by aligning on the same day and using a log-scale vertical axis, we get an excellent visualization of the relative performance. I've indexed each of the eight to 800 on the March 9th start date. The callout in the upper left corner shows the percent change from the start date to the latest weekly close.
Here is the same visualization, this time starting on October 9, 2007, a previous closing high for the S&P 500. This date is also approximately the mid-point of the range of market peaks, which started on June 1st for the CAC 40 and ended on January 8, 2008 for the SENSEX.