Asia Pacific ex Japan
The FTSE World Asia Pacific ex Japan Index returned 11.1% in sterling terms, joining in a global rally on the back of positive Covid-19 vaccine trial results. Against this backdrop, Thailand (21.6%), Singapore (14.8%) and Korea (14.5%) were among the best performing markets over November. Australia (12.2%) enjoyed strong performance from basic resources stocks. Notwithstanding the progress on the vaccine front, Malaysia (5.8%) trailed the regional average, hindered by the impact of rising Covid-19 cases. Chinese economic data remained generally positive, with the Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index suggesting an acceleration in manufacturing activity in November. The month saw the creation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), to be the world’s largest trading bloc, with its 15 members including China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Australia.