Emerging market rally to continue in 2012

Reuters, Thursday 9 Feb 2012

Global emerging markets index sees best January for a decade suggesting improving investor sentiment, say analysts

Global emerging market equities will continue to rally through 2012 boosted by ample liquidity conditions, according to Citigroup, which said it will be among buyers in the event of a pullback.

Most of the 2012 gains will likely come early in the year on lower inflation and falling interest rates in emerging markets, Citigroup wrote in its global emerging markets strategy report.

The 11.2 per cent rise in MSCI Global Emerging Markets index in January was the best first month of the year since 2001 and the first January gain of any kind since 2006, analyst Geoffrey Dennis said.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index has seen a year-to-date rise of 16 per cent, according to Reuters data.

Citigroup's sentiment indicator has risen from "panic" to just above "neutral."

"This suggests sentiment is much better, but not yet euphoric. This is good news for the rally," analyst Dennis said.

Citigroup upgraded Brazil to "overweight" from a "strong neutral" citing room for another 100 basis points of rate cuts.

The prevalence of high-beta outperformance is clear, the brokerage said and downgraded a lower-beta, or less volatile, South Africa to "neutral."

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