International stocks posted mixed results in the first quarter. The global equity index was largely unchanged as investors monitored the ongoing developments in Ukraine and the volatile situation in emerging markets.
Stocks markets around the world capped off an excellent year rallying in the final months of 2013. Europe and Japan lead the global equity rally this year. The international equity markets added 5.2% in the quarter and were up 17.8% for the year. This did not keep pace with the US markets but it was the best year for international markets since 2009.
Stocks in the US have been the belle of ball or the best house on a bad block depending on your perspective of the global economy. Either way the S&P 500 has added 15.3% year to date which far outpaces most other developed markets around the world.
Equity markets outside the US retreated in the second quarter. Global markets sold off 2.7% in the quarter although are still up 1.2% for the year. A strong US Dollar weighed on performance for most international markets. Stocks were impacted by volatile trading in Japan and growing concerns over the stability of China’s banking system.