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After nearly a six-year wait, Indian equity benchmarks, the BSE 30-share Sensex and the NSE 50-share Nifty broke their record highs this year. But that’s not it; 2013 saw a number of fresh multi-year record lows/highs both on the macro and investment front.
Despite FIIs investing USD 20 billion in 2013, the index returns for FIIs in dollar terms is negative at 3.91 percent primarily due to rupee depreciation. The year 2013 has been more stock and sector specific with IT, pharma and FMCG leading the list of winners.
Let’s take a look at how various asset classes fared in the year 2013.
Developed markets versus Emerging markets
As seen from the table, benchmark indices of US, UK and Japan have given handsome double digit returns so far this year. The momentum in these markets may continue as major indices of US (barring Nasdaq) and UK (barring CAC) are trading at life-high. Nikkei is trading close to its 6 year high. Emerging markets have posted negative or single digit positive returns this year, underperforming developed markets.
Gold has posted its biggest annual loss since 1981 as investors shifted their money from safe haven asset class to risky asset class like equities on the back of strong economic growth in developed countries. Brent Crude remained in a narrow band of USD 95-115 per barrel.
The domestic currencies of the emerging markets depreciated substantially this year on fears of tapering by the US Federal Reserve. The rupee depreciated to a record low of 69 levels making it one of the worst performing Asian currencies this year. Japanese yen on the other hand weakened to a five-year low on the back of loose monetary policy to spur growth in the economy.