As stock markets improved globally last year, the Russell Global Index increased 15.2, with the markets in 42 of the 48 countries included in the index posting positive returns. 

Topping the list, the Philippines market gained 77%. Thailand stocks grew 59.3%, Chile’s 51.1%, and Colombia’s 48.5%.

Greece had the worst performing market in the Russell Global Index, with a loss of 42.5% for the year.  Spain (-20.5%), Italy (-15.1%), Portugal (-12.4%) and France (-1.3%) also posted negative returns for the year.

The United States landed in the middle of the pack with a 16.9% gain by Russell’s measure, just above Japan at 16.4%.

The Russell Global Index includes more than 10,000 securities in 48 countries and covers 98% of the investable global market. Daily Returns for the main components are available online

What’s next for 2011?  BankofAmericaMerrill Lynch forcasts that the GDP of emerging markets will rise by 6.4%, accounting for more than three-quarters of global GDP growth, with stock prices around the world soaring 15%. According to Morgan Stanley, the coming year should continue the trends of 2010. “Our ‘tale of two worlds' continues to unfold, with robust growth in EM economies trumping the creditless, jobless and joyless ‘BBB recovery' (bumpy, below-par, brittle) in the mature economies,” says  Joachim Fels, co-head of Morgan Stanley’s Global Economics Team. The firm forecasts that consumer spending will fuel  growth in China, shrinking the country’s account surplus, and that U.S. net exports will grow. Although China is likely to raise interest rates, Morgan Stanley projects that monetary tightening throughout the emerging world will not be severe.

Jessica Tuchman Mathews, the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said “You can no longer talk about developed and developing countries and make sense of international affairs.…We face a new phenomenon where countries are rich, but on a per capita basis the people are poor. That’s a new deal. And we don’t even have a good term for such a country—like China.”

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