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Over the past 18 months, oil has been a significant drag on global financial markets. While oil producing countries have obviously been hit the hardest, the rest of the world has also struggled. But recently there’s been a mild resurgence in oil, with the WTI index now near $50 per barrel. This is still nowhere near its previous levels of over $100, but it is a significant increase from the low of about $26 seen earlier this year. This Chart of the Week examines what this means for different parts of the world by looking at the daily correlations between oil and MSCI countries’ indices over the past 18 months.
Not surprisingly, emerging markets, along with Canada, have the highest correlations due to their heavy dependence on oil exports. They’ve also had the worst performance over the past few years but stand to gain the most from rising oil prices. Developed markets though also have high correlations and even in the U.S. and Japan, which have the least significant correlations, oil is still a major factor. These correlations won’t necessarily hold up going forward, but the trend suggests that if oil continues its slow recovery financial markets will benefit across the board. While other issues may affect this recovery, such as a “Brexit” or Japan’s deflationary pressures, overall rising oil prices should be a boost to the global economy.
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