The pace of increases in profit projections has outstripped that of developed markets — a sign of growing confidence emerging-nation companies will withstand the impact of a global slowdown better than peers. That conforms with the consensus that the developing world will widen its lead over richer countries this year and the next.
Investors are taking note. The benchmark MSCI Emerging Markets Index is heading for a sixth weekly advance, and buyers of exchange-traded funds have added money for the past two weeks, ending a seven-week streak of withdrawals.
While earnings estimates gained a boost last week after U.S. President Donald Trump held back from imposing punitive tariffs on a further $300 billion of Chinese exports, the turnaround had already started. Even as Asian companies remained under a cloud in the run-up to the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, analysts began raising forecasts for their counterparts in the emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
But Asia was quick to catch up. Estimates have risen for the past two weeks, the first back-to-back increases in seven months. Meanwhile, ETF investors put money into funds buying Chinese equities for the first time in nine weeks.
The 9.2% gain in the MSCI emerging-market gauge during the first six months of year came in fits and starts. But if improving earnings estimates are any indication, the second quarter may witness a more lasting rebound, especially in a world beset with negative-yielding assets and ever-shrinking value in developed-market equities.