Market Extra: Every major stock market is poised to be up for 2017 in dollar terms

Much has been written about how good a year 2017 was for world equity markets—notably, this is poised to be the first time in history where global stocks are positive in every month of a year—but the breadth of the market’s gains may surprise even the most bullish investors.

Stocks were so strong over the course of the year that every major stock market is ending the year higher, based on the performance of the most popular dollar-based exchange-traded funds that track single-country equity markets.

There are 45 nations covered by at least one such U.S-listed ETF widely used by investors. The funds track such disparate markets as Greece GREK, +0.88% Nigeria NGE, +1.15% Thailand THD, +1.09% South Africa EZA, +1.59% and Egypt EGPT, +0.43% among many others.

The top-performing country of the year was Argentina, as measured by the Global X MSCI Argentina ETF ARGT, -0.16% which has surged nearly 54%. Latin America in general was quite strong; Chile ECH, +0.27%   rose 40%, while Peru EPU, +0.47%  was up 25.2%. Brazil EWZ, +0.94% which rose more than 60% over the course of 2016, added to that rally by jumping another 22% in 2017.

Despite the record number of records in the U.S. stock market—along with historically low volatility and the longest streak of monthly gains in more than 30 years—Wall Street’s returns were roughly in the middle of the global pack. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.19%  is set to end with a gain of almost 20%, making it the 27th best-performing market of the year.

Read: These are all the records stock indexes are poised to hit as December comes to a close

Of the 45 countries, only three had an annual gain that was less than 10%: Saudi Arabia KSA, -0.22% which rose 3.7% over the year; the United Arab Emirates UAE, +0.12% up 1.6%; and, in last place, Russia.

Russia’s ERUS, +0.68%  equity market is up 0.6% for 2017, a positive return that is happening right under the wire. The fund tracking the country’s market is up 0.8% on Friday, enough to turn it positive for the year.

The following table, from FactSet, shows the different regions and how they have performed over 2017.

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