Charts of the Week

Top Ten Countries in the MSCI EAFE Index (as of 9/30/17)

Chart of the Week for October 20, 2017 - October 26, 2017

All 10 of the largest countries in the MSCI EAFE Index posted positive returns over the 1-year period ended September 30, 2017.

The bar chart above shows the net performance in U.S. dollars for the 1-year periods ended September 30, 2017 ("current period" - dark blue bars above) and September 30, 2016 ("prior period" - light blue bars above) for the MSCI EM Index, the MSCI EAFE Index, and the top 10 non-U.S. developed countries. The Morgan Stanley Capital International ("MSCI") Europe, Australasia, and Far East Index ("EAFE") is a commonly used benchmark to measure non-U.S. developed stock market performance and the MSCI Emerging Markets ("EM") Index is a commonly used benchmark to measure emerging market stock market performance. Each index consists of about twenty countries and a country can be a member of the MSCI EAFE or EM Index, but not both. The top 10 countries were determined based on their market capitalization in the MSCI EAFE Index as of September 30, 2017. The country with the largest market capitalization, Japan, is listed first, and the country with the smallest market capitalization of the ten countries reported, Sweden, is listed last.

All 10 of the non-U.S. stock market returns shown were positive in the current period after nine of the 10 were positive in the prior period. Spain, the only country which was negative in the prior period (-5.66%), rebounded to be the strongest performer in the current period (32.00%). Factors that helped the markets in the current period were a generally improving global economy, lessening political uncertainty in the Eurozone, and a slightly weaker U.S. dollar. Emerging Market stocks (22.46%) outperformed Developed Market stocks (19.10%), as higher prices for metals and commodities and strong returns in India and China bolstered the EM sector.

No one can be certain which direction individual countries or entire markets will move in the future, and past trends are no guarantee of future results. It is important to understand the principles of domestic and international markets and diversification before investing.

© Copyright 2017 ICMA Retirement Corporation, All Rights Reserved. This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not to be construed as investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Investors should seek financial advice regarding the appropriateness of investing in any securities or investment strategies discussed here. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance.

Return to top