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Emerging Markets Lead Rise from March Lows

Emerging Markets Lead Rise from March Lows

A year ago, major stock market indexes hit a nadir that came to be known as the March lows. Global indexes were battered by lack of confidence in the credit markets and banking system.

On March 9, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average

hit a 12-year low of 6,547.05. The Nikkei

was at a 26-year low of 7,086.03 and London's FTSE-100 closed at 3,542.40, just slightly higher than its low for the year hit days before.

But since then, stocks have seen a steady rise, with emerging markets leading the way for investor returns.

Nearly 98 percent of the Standard & Poor's 500's components are up compared with a year ago, according to analysts at S&P.

And there are big returns in indexes exposed to Brazil, Russia, India and China, also know as the BRICs.

Russia's RTS index is up 162 percent, helped by a rise in energy prices.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index is up around 87 percent from the year-ago close at 21,196.87. India's Sensex is up more than 110 percent from last year's March 9 close. And the Shanghai index jumped 44 percent from last year's lows.