RTS Index Down Over 75% YTD

global stock market meltdown - 8 major indexes down at least 60 percentThe "Great Crash of 2008" has spared no market in 2008. The US indexes are down. The Canadian indexes are down. The UK indexes are down. And on and on.

Some markets have been hit harder than others in 2008. The Caracas General (Venezuela) is only down 7.9% YTD, while the RTS Index (Russia) is down over 75%. Some of the smaller stock market exchanges, such as the OMX Iceland 15, have been completely obliterated this year.

As mentioned in the title of this article, (at least) eight major stock market indexes have lost a full 60% of their value so far in 2008. Three more indexes (the PX 50 index of the Czech Republic, the All-Shares index of Norway and the Merval index of Argentina) are within less than one percentage point of hitting the 60% mark for the year. Many more indexes are down between 40-60% - you would be hard-pressed to find a major index that hasn't declined at least 40% in 2008.

The hardest hit areas? China and Russia.

The RTS Index (Russia) has taken the biggest hit of any major index so far in 2008, dropping an eye-popping 75.5% of its value YTD. The DJ Russia Titans 10 index has also dropped 68.8%. Resource-rich Russia has been battered by the rapid drop in commodities prices, amongst other things.

Three major indexes in China have taken a 60%+ beating so far this year as well. The DJ CBN China 600 is down 62.6%, the Dow Jones China 88 is down 62.8% and the Shanghai Composite is down 62.3% on the year. The Chinese stock market hit a brick wall after years of outperforming global markets. China has been stung by a slowdown in demand for their exports and a drop-off in investment capital from other areas of the world.

The ATX (Austria), Istanbul National 100 (Turkey) and CASE 30 (Egypt) are all down at least 60% YTD as well.

Barring an unbelievable reversal in the last month and a half of trading in 2008, many of these indexes will post their worst years ever.

There might not be bread lines forming in your neck of the woods right now, but please believe that this is a once in a lifetime market decline that you'll be telling your grandkids about. The size and scope of the destruction is second to none, and it will take many years to repair the damage that has been done in 2008, especially in emerging markets.

Filed under: The Economic Meltdown

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