Below we highlight the year-to-date percentage change (local currency) for the major equity indices of 82 countries. So far this year, 71 of the 82 countries are in positive territory, and the average change of all countries is 33.27%. With a gain of 20.76%, the S&P 500 is 13 percentage points below the average, yet it’s the second best G-7 performer behind Canada so far in 2009.
The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) have been standouts this year. Russia is up the most out of all countries with a gain of 126.71%. Brazil, China, and India are all up more than 70%. Along with Russia, the Ukraine, Argentina, and Peru are up more than 100% year to date.
Eleven countries are down so far in 2009. Ghana is down the most at -48.26%, followed by Puerto Rico (-40.56%), Bermuda (-38.36%), and Costa Rica (-35.37%).
All 28 of the EU’s heads of state have put out a joint statement backing further sanctions on Russia after violence in Ukraine’s eastern provinces worsened markedly in recent days.
The statement dispels concerns that the bloc would prove too disunited to agree on new sanctions on Moscow despite the “Minsk” peace plan falling into tatters.
The heads of state or government highlighted there was “evidence of continued and growing support given to the separatists by Russia, and said they had therefore asked the bloc’s foreign ministers to “assess the situation and to consider any appropriate action, in particular on further restrictive measures”, at their upcoming meeting on Thursday.
We express our concern about the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine. We condemn the killing of civilians during the indiscriminate shelling of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on 24 January 2015. We note evidence of continued and growing support given to the separatists by Russia, which underlines Russia’s responsibility. We urge Russia to condemn the separatists’ actions and to implement the Minsk agreements.
The foreign ministers of the European Union have postponed implementing a new round of sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis until February 16, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday.
“This morning the question was raised of sanctions that were taken in regard to what happened in Mariupol [Ukraine],” Fabius told journalists on the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.
Fighting between Kiev forces and eastern Ukrainian independence supporters in Mariupol flared up earlier in the month.
“The principles of sanctions in regard to Mariupol remain, but they will be used depending on the situation there. We will discuss the situation by [next] Monday and see if the Minsk meeting gives any results and then make our conclusions,” Fabius said.