France tops MSCI equity indices in March

Apr 13th, 2017 | By | Category: ETF and Index News

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Leading index provider to the exchange-traded fund industry MSCI has released its performance report for March 2017, breaking down the best and worst performing equity indices over this period by countries, factors and sectors.

France tops MSCI equity indices in March

France was the best performer within MSCI’s range of country equity indices during March, with 6.3% growth.

MSCI reports the highest index returns in March were achieved by France, for country exposure; momentum, for factor exposure; and information technology, for sector exposure.

Single Country Index Rankings

The best performing country was France (6.3%) and the worst was Japan (-0.2%), while the broad market average, represented by the return on the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI), was 1.3%. Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, China and the UK all managed to outperform the ACWI over this period.

Using the forward Price-to-Earnings ratio, the most expensive country is the USA with a forward P/E of 18.0 and the cheapest, Korea with a forward P/E of 9.5, while the market (ACWI) forward P/E is 16.0.

China (12.3), Japan (13.9), Germany (14.1), the UK (14.4), France (14.9), and Canada (15.6) are also trading at forward P/E ratios below the market average.

The country with the largest year-to-date (YTD) index growth is Korea (16.9%).

MSCI Country Performance

Source: MSCI.

Factor Index Rankings

The best performing factor during March was momentum (2.3%) and the worst was minimum volatility (0.7%), while the market ACWI returned 1.3%.

Quality (1.8%), equal-weighted (1.7%), risk-weighted (1.7%) and high dividend yield (1.4%) also outperformed the broad market ACWI over this period.

Using the forward P/E, the most expensive factor is minimum volatility USD with a forward P/E of 18.7 and the cheapest, enhanced value with a forward P/E of 10.0, while the market (ACWI) forward P/E is 16.0.

High dividend yield (14.1), equal-weighted (15.2) and risk-weighted (15.9) strategies are also trading at forward P/E ratios below the market average ACWI forward P/E of 15.9.

The factor with the strongest YTD index growth is momentum (9.0%).

MSCI Factor Performance

Source: MSCI.

Sector Index Rankings

The best performing sector was information technology (2.9%) and the worst was real estate (-0.2%), while the market ACWI returned 1.3%.

Consumer discretionary (2.6%) and industrials (1.5%) also outperformed the ACWI over this period.

Using the forward P/E, the most expensive sector is real estate with a forward P/E of 22.1 and the cheapest, financials with a forward P/E of 12.1, while the market (ACWI) forward P/E is 16.0.

Telecoms (14.8), materials (15.2), and utilities (15.6) are also trading at a forward P/E ratio below the market average ACWI forward P/E of 15.9.

The sector with the strongest YTD return is information technology with a 13.1% gain.

MSCI Sector Performace

Source: MSCI.

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