Global stock markets are headed for their weakest quarterly performance in four years after a torrid summer that saw investor sentiment rocked by developments in the world's two largest economies.
A sustained collapse in commodity prices, China's stunning market rout followed by its shocking currency devaluation as well as fears of a Greek default and a September U.S. interest rate hike were some of the numerous factors that made the past three months a summer to remember (or forget) for investors.
"Global equities are closing in on their worst quarter since 2011, with a number of factors fueling fears in an already jittery market, including weak global growth, driven by deceleration in emerging markets, particularly China," Barclays analysts said in a Wednesday report.
China's benchmark Shanghai Composite appeared to be one of the world's worst performers with a 25 percent loss, its weakest performance since 2008.
In comparison, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq were all headed for a 9 percent loss. In Europe, Germany's Dax was set for a 15 decline, 11 percent for the French CAC, 8 percent for Italy and 13 percent for the Ibex.
Indeed, much of the blame seems to be falling on weakness in emerging markets (EMs).
New data from the International Institute of Finance (IIF) on Wednesday showed EMs suffered their worst quarter since 2008 as global investors sold $40 billion of EM assets. During 2008, the height of the global financial crisis, emerging markets saw outflows to the tune of $105 billion, the IIF said.
"Dovish signals after the Fed's policy meeting [earlier this month] only provided a short-lived boost to EM portfolio flows, and daily data show renewed outflows in late September," the organization noted.