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Trading Strategies

Emerging markets in 2024: Risks and rewards for investors

Emerging markets: A map with countries flags representing emerging markets.

Emerging markets are increasingly becoming a focal point for investors seeking high returns, but what are the risks and opportunities in 2024? Below, we'll explore which countries are regarded as emerging in 2024 plus the opportunities and challenges of investing in these dynamic economies.

What are emerging markets?

Emerging markets, also known as developing economies, have become a hot topic in recent years. As the global economy shifts and evolves, these countries are increasingly seen as key players in the future of international trade and investment. But what exactly are emerging markets, and why are they so important? Essentially, they are economies that are in the process of growing and modernising, but that are not yet fully developed. This can encompass a wide range of countries and regions, from China and India to parts of Latin America and Africa as we’ll see below. Despite the challenges and risks that come with investing in these markets, many experts believe that they offer enormous potential for growth and returns in the years to come.

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Characteristics of emerging markets

Some of the common characteristics of emerging markets include:

  1. Strong economic growth: These markets are characterised by high economic growth rates due to factors such as a growing middle class, expanding consumer markets, and increasing investment in infrastructure. This growth is often driven by strong domestic demand, export-oriented industries, and favourable government policies.
  2. High per capita income: Per capita income in these markets is typically lower than in developed markets, but it is increasing rapidly. As the economy grows and more people enter the workforce, incomes rise, leading to a higher standard of living and increased consumption.
  3. Liquid equity and debt markets: They often have well-developed equity and debt markets that are increasingly accessible to foreign investors. This allows companies to raise capital to finance their growth, and investors to diversify their portfolios and take advantage of higher returns.
  4. Accessibility by foreign investors: They are often attractive to investors due to their high growth potential and relatively low labour costs. In recent years, many emerging markets have liberalised their investment regulations, making it easier for foreign investors to access their markets.
  5. Dependable regulatory system: Developing markets with a dependable regulatory system are more attractive to investors because they provide a stable business environment. Regulations that are transparent, predictable, and enforced consistently help to reduce risk and promote investment.

It is important to note that not all emerging markets possess all of these characteristics, and there can be significant variation in terms of economic and political stability, market size, and growth potential. Additionally, the characteristics of these markets can change over time as these economies continue to develop and mature.

Risks and opportunities of emerging markets

S/N Risks Opportunities
1. Political instability: They can be more prone to political instability than developed markets. This instability can take the form of changes in government policies, political unrest, or civil war. Political instability can cause uncertainty and disruptions to business operations, which can negatively impact investments. Large and growing consumer markets: They often have large populations and a growing middle class with increasing purchasing power. This can create significant demand for consumer goods and services, including automobiles, electronics, and financial products.
2. Domestic infrastructure problems: They may have underdeveloped infrastructure, including poor roads, inadequate power supply, and limited access to technology. These problems can make it difficult for companies to operate efficiently, which can impact earnings and share prices. Abundant natural resources: Many emerging markets have an abundance of natural resources, including oil, gas, minerals, and agricultural products. This can create opportunities for investors to participate in sectors such as energy, mining, and agriculture.
3. Currency volatility: Emerging market currencies can be more volatile than major currencies like the US dollar, Euro or Yen. Factors such as inflation trade imbalances, and changes in interest rates can cause currency values to fluctuate rapidly. This can create risks for investors who hold investments denominated in those currencies. Access to undervalued assets: They may offer access to undervalued assets such as stocks, bonds and real estate. This can create opportunities for investors to take advantage of low valuations and potential growth.
4. Liquid equity: Emerging markets can also have less liquid equity markets, which can create challenges for investors who need to buy or sell securities quickly. This can lead to price volatility and difficulties in finding buyers or sellers. Technological innovation: Emerging markets are increasingly becoming centres for technological innovation, particularly in areas such as fintech, biotech, and artificial intelligence. This can create opportunities for investors to participate in new and innovative sectors.
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Which countries are classified as emerging markets in 2024?

In 2024, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, India, and China are among the countries that are experiencing rapid economic growth and development. There are also other emerging countries, such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, and Iraq, which are rich in oil exports. However, many of these countries rely heavily on their oil industry for economic growth, with little focus on diversifying their economies. As a result, a drop in oil prices could significantly impact their economies and hinder job creation and private sector growth. 

Several other emerging countries are located in Eastern Europe, specifically in the former Soviet Union. These countries include Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, and Slovakia. Due to their past experiences under communism, these countries are not as economically developed as their Western European counterparts and are still working to improve their economies. However, the European Union is focused on promoting economic equity and growth across all European countries, including those that were once part of the Soviet Union. This should help improve the economic outlook and quality of life in these countries over time. Additionally, Kazakhstan is another emerging country that was once part of the Soviet Union but is located in Central Asia rather than Europe.

There are also other numerous emerging continents that are present in different parts of the world, such as Africa (including Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and South Africa), South Asia (such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh), South America (including Argentina, Chile, and Colombia), and the South Pacific region. These countries are experiencing rapid economic growth and development, and are working towards improving their economies through various measures such as infrastructure development, foreign investment, and job creation. As a result, these emerging economies are likely to play an increasingly significant role in the global economy over time.

Is investing in emerging markets a viable option?

In 2024, emerging markets may become more attractive to global investors due to several factors: 

  • China is expected to adopt a more pro-growth approach: Shifting its focus from security and social stability goals that have been at the forefront for the past two years. According to economists at Morgan Stanley, this change in stance will prioritise economic development, which may stimulate growth in the country. Additionally, China recently ended its zero-COVID policy, and as a result, the economy is expected to reopen fully, leading to a rebound in private consumption. This, in turn, could significantly boost China's inflation-adjusted GDP growth. It's important to note that China has pursued a different policy response to COVID-19 compared to most Western countries, which means it's not experiencing high inflation or rising interest rates. This gives Beijing room to implement significant stimulus measures that could further bolster the economy. Overall, these factors may make emerging markets, such as China, a more attractive investment opportunity for global investors in 2024.
  • A possible peak in the strength of the U.S. dollar: As the Federal Reserve's rate-hiking cycle approaches maturity, the dollar may lose some of its momentum. Meanwhile, economic growth outside the U.S. may improve, making other currencies more attractive in comparison. This could result in a relative appreciation of the currencies of emerging markets, making them more appealing to investors. Moreover, commodity exporting countries in regions such as Latin America may benefit from strengthening commodity prices driven by greater global demand. As a result, emerging markets with significant commodity exports may see an upswing in their economies, which could make them more attractive investment opportunities.
  • Shift in global trade relationships: While U.S.-China relations continue to be complicated, the reorganisation of strategic supply chains may create new opportunities for emerging nations other than China. Morgan Stanley predicts that in the areas of consumer and industrial goods, new trade relationships may emerge between the U.S. and emerging markets such as India, Latin America, and non-China-linked countries in Southeast Asia. These new relationships may create investment opportunities for global investors. Furthermore, China is expected to continue its efforts to court economic integration with some of these same countries, building on initiatives such as the Belt and Road infrastructure program. This could further enhance investment opportunities in emerging markets that have strong economic ties with China. Overall, the reorganisation of strategic supply chains and the development of new trade relationships may make emerging markets outside of China more attractive to global investors in 2024.

How to trade them with CFDs?

CFDs (Contracts for Difference) can be used to trade emerging markets, providing an alternative to traditional stock market investments. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Choose a CFD broker that offers trading on emerging markets: It's important to select a reputable and regulated broker with competitive fees and a user-friendly trading platform.

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  2. Decide on the emerging market you wish to trade: Research the country's economic and political situation to understand the risks and opportunities.

  3. Determine your trading strategy: Are you planning to go long or short on the market? What is your risk tolerance? What is your target profit or stop loss level?

  4. Open a trading account with your chosen CFD broker and deposit funds.

  5. Start trading on the emerging market of your choice by buying or selling CFDs based on your trading strategy: Monitor the market regularly to identify opportunities to make profitable trades.

Conclusion

Emerging markets in 2024 present both risks and rewards for investors. Despite the risks involved, these markets may offer a unique opportunity for investors seeking higher returns and diversification. With careful research and a solid trading plan, investors can take advantage of the potential rewards that these markets have to offer.

If you're interested in trading emerging markets, start by researching the countries and markets that interest you, and choose a reputable and regulated CFD broker such as Skilling to facilitate your trades. Keep an eye on economic and political developments, and always make sure you have a solid risk management strategy in place.

Past performance does not guarantee or predict future performance. This article is offered for general information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice.

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What better way to welcome you than with a bonus?
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Experience Skilling's award-winning platform
Try out any of Skilling’s trading platforms on the device of your choice across web, android or iOS.
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