By any standard the second quarter of 2009 was remarkable. Here are some numbers to chew over as the third quarter gets under way:
— World stocks as measured by the MSCI All-Country World Index had their best quarter since the benchmark was first compiled in 1988.
— The world index gained 21.2 percent for the second quarter. Its nearest “competitor” was the fourth quarter of 1998 when it rose 20.66 percent.
— Emerging markets were the main driver. MSCI’s sub-index for the sector gained 34.3 percent for the quarter, also a record high. Asian shares have been among the stars, with the MSCI Asia-Pacific ex-Japan index rising 33.7 percent. This was more than twice the gain on the U.S. Standard & Poor’s 500 index.