GRAPHIC-Torrid 2015 for emerging markets

jueves 24 de diciembre de 2015 10:05 GYT

By Marc Jones and Ritvik Carvalho

LONDON Dec 24 (Reuters) - It was a torrid 2015 for emerging markets, with a mix of weak global growth, a slump in commodity prices and a strong dollar making it the worst year for some of the big countries since the height of financial crisis.

Despite a mini-rebound over the last week, MSCI's benchmark emerging market equities index, which covers 23 of the main developing economies, is down over 17 percent for the year and almost 10 percent since October.

Though 2011 - the peak of the euro zone crisis - was marginally worse overall, for heavyweights such as Indonesia , Malaysia, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia it has been the toughest since the global crash of 2008.

China, the industrial heartbeat of the world economy, saw its stock markets lose roughly half their value during the middle of the year when worries about growth emerged.

Their meltdown was one of the big stories of the year, although they have since recovered around 10 percent of that drop. Thanks to a flying first half, they are still up 8 percent for the year in dollar terms.

Currencies have been battered almost universally, largely due to the dollar which rose in anticipation of a U.S. interest rate rise finally delivered this month. But plenty of country-specific politics added to the mix.

The Kazakh tenge and Argentinian peso are down 45 and 35 percent respectively, having both been 'floated' by governments that could no longer afford to artificially protect their currencies.

Azerbaijan did the same on Monday. Its menat dropped over 30 percent and means most of Russia's big former Soviet trading partners have devalued this year in a bid to stay competitive with a rouble now down around 18 percent.   Continuación...