Chart: Global Equity Bear Market Count

This unusual graph shows the proportion of countries’ stockmarkets which have entered into a “bear market” – which for the purposes of calculation here is defined as a 20% or greater decline from the highest point of the past year. As of the latest reading there were only 3 countries (or 4% of the 70 countries we track). They are: Argentina, Turkey, and Brazil. These names should sound familiar, as they have also seen material widening of sovereign CDS spreads, and currency weakness. So while at once it gives a picture of calm, with relatively few countries in a bear market, the issue is these 3 may well be ‘canaries in the coal mine’ of potential further issues to come in emerging markets. Indeed, as I’ve mentioned before, emerging markets are in uncharted territory as the Fed normalizes its balance sheet and raises interest rates at the same time.