Emerging Markets Hit Record High: 5 Top-Performing ETFs YTD

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The global rally buoyed by vaccine optimism and fresh U.S. stimulus hopes have not only pushed the U.S. stock market to a new peak but also driven emerging markets to new heights. This is especially true as the MSCI Emerging Market Index, which spans 27 countries, surged past the highs reached in January 2018.

Vaccine

The encouraging study results from AstraZeneca (AZN - Free Report), Moderna (MRNA - Free Report), and Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) related to COVID-19 vaccines has spurred investors’ sentiment. Markets anticipate the availability of vaccines soon, which may lead to the end of the pandemic and swift economic recovery. In fact, the U.K. has become the first country that started the vaccination program developed by Pfizer. The first 800,000 doses will be given to people over 80 years who are either hospitalized or already have outpatient appointments scheduled, along with nursing home workers.

Other firms like Sanofi (SNY - Free Report), GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK - Free Report), Merck (MRK - Free Report), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) are also in the process of developing their vaccines.

Stimulus Bets

The central banks across the globe have been on a bond-buying spree to fight the fallout from the pandemic, according to the Bloomberg report. The U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, and the European Central Bank have splurged $5.6 trillion this year on quantitative easing.

The market is anticipating additional stimulus from the United States given fresh coronavirus relief funding negotiations. Per reports, lawmakers and the White House are progressing toward a fresh stimulus for the coronavirus-stricken economy. The White House unveiled a $916 billion stimulus proposal in a final rush to break months of negotiations.

Other Factors

Despite rising coronavirus cases and re-initiation of restrictions in many parts of the world, the economy has been on the mend. In China, a recent survey revealed that the factory sector accelerated at the fastest pace in a decade in November. This suggests that the world’s second-largest economy has recovered to the pre-pandemic levels. Several other countries also reported sharp upticks in factory activity. The latest data showed that the South African economy rebounded by a massive 66.1% in the third quarter, reflecting the economy’s recovery from the height of the COVID-19 lockdown.

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