Here's a fact - every stock market in the entire world rose in the past 12 months, in stark contrast to the decline in stock markets in the previous year.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on January 6, 2020

The year 2019 was ruined – if you believe mainstream media and social media keyboard warriors – by the UK Brexit crisis, the demonstrations and destruction in Hong Kong and US President Donald Trump’s every action, especially the trade war with China. However, here’s a fact – every stock market in the entire world rose in the past 12 months, in stark contrast to the decline in stock markets in the previous year.

Global stock markets added more than US$17 trillion in total value, according to Deutsche Bank calculations.

Russia’ stock market, the MSCI Russia Index, a tracker which follows the 23 largest Russian publicly-listed companies has soared by 44%, Sberbank analyst Cole Akeson told Russian news site RBC.

Over the same period, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which includes Russian stocks and companies listed in 23 other developing economies such as China, Brazil, Mexico and India has delivered returns of 12%.

Greece, which has a debt of US $352.7 billion and unemployment at 16.9%, saw the Athens General Index of the country’s 60 biggest firms gain nearly 50% to 916 points during the last 12 months.

“Greek economic growth accelerated in 2019, thanks to recovering government spending and reviving investment coupled with a healthy exports outlook,” Athanasia Kokkinogeni, Europe senior analyst at the research firm DuckerFrontier, told CNBC.

Greece, Russia and Italy were the top performing stock markets in Europe in 2019.

China’s A-shares, the main class of stock for companies listed on the mainland, were up more than 40%.

US bonds and stocks had stellar years. Bonds delivered more than 8%, while stocks returned more than 30%.

In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 stock index climbed about 20% over the past 12 months – its best performance since 2009 when the ASX200 climbed 31%.

Russian companies also increased their dividend payouts in 2019 — especially firms in which the Russian government is the majority shareholder, such as Sberbank and Gazprom. The dividend yield on the Russian market is among the highest in the world at 6.7%, Akeson said.

The 44% year-to-date return on the MSCI Russia includes income from dividend payments. The MOEX Russia Index, a different tracker compiled by the Moscow Exchange, last week passed 3,000 points for the first time in history.

A positive outlook for 2020 is that US President Donald Trump has said he would sign a phase one deal to ease the 18-month trade war with China on 15 January.

However, CNBC’s Bob Pisani reported that analysts have cut first quarter estimates on a spate of bellwether companies. Of 15 companies with quarters that end in November, analysts cut estimates on 10, including downward revisions for Carnival, General Mills, FedEx, and Nike.

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