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Morning Briefing

While you were trading

31st March, 2006

This is a new column, which will take a freewheeling look at what's happening in a wide range of markets round the world. This column will not dwell on what to do, but will simply observe and point out implications, if any.

For instance, there seems to be a churn in some emerging market geographies. Have you noticed the

  1. Fall in the Mid-Eastern stock markets
  2. Rally in the Latin American stock markets
Most of the Middle Eastern markets have fallen between 15-20% from their Highs set between June-November 2005. For instance, Qatar is down 19.06% and Egypt is down 14.53%. We look at this fall as a natural correction or "reversion to mean" since these markets had touched stratospheric levels last year.

Saudi Arabia down 16.38%
UAE down 17.64%
Qatar down 19.06%
Egypt down 14.53%
Lebanon down 19.08%
Kuwait down 16.35%

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At the same time, LatAm is doing very well. Venezuela and Argentina are up 43.73% and 31% respectively (YTD).

Argentina up 31% YTD
Brazil up 12% YTD
Chile up 10.5% YTD
Columbia up 18.40% YTD
Venezuela up 43.73% YTD

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A big erosion of wealth in the Middle Eastern markets could turn the Petro-Dollar flows towards low risk avenues like bonds. This could be bad for equities and commodities.

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