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Measured optimism ahead for emerging market equities

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Despite a late-year rebound, emerging market (EM) equities endured negative returns in 2022 amid several headwinds. Headlines for EM were almost uniformly downbeat — focused on persistently high inflation and China’s struggle to contain Covid — but ultimately the asset class only modestly lagged broad global equity markets. Looking forward, we see a number of bright spots for EM equities as part of a long-term, diversified portfolio. At the top of the list: the diversity of the EM universe across countries, regions and investment characteristics, which provides a rich source of potential alpha that is uncorrelated with other markets. In the analysis that follows, Nuveen’s equity team offers its perspective on current themes in EM, an assessment of the factors that could influence relative performance and a cautiously optimistic outlook for this dynamic and often overlooked asset class.

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