The first quarter of 2012 meant big returns for financial markets around the world.
With the quarter coming to a close today in the U.S., only 12 of the 78 major financial markets in countries around the world are in the red through the first three months of the year. Nearly half of them have recorded double-digit gains, including the U.S. at 11.6%.
Venezuela is far and away the global leader with year-to-date gains of more than 70%. Vietnam is up next with 25% gains. Romania, Dubai UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Peru, Japan, Pakistan and Colombia round out the top 10.
The U.S. cracked the top 25, coming in at 22nd on the list.
Other countries of note whose stock markets have prospered this year are Russia (11th, 17% gains), Germany (12th, 16.6% gains), Brazil (15th, 13.6%), India (27th, 10.4%) and even debt-ridden Greece (32nd, 8%).
Big countries whose stock-market gains have been less impressive in 2012 are Britain, with 3% gains; Canada, 2.8% gains; and China, with 2.4% gains.
The country whose stocks have performed the worst so far this year has been Sri Lanka, with a 10.9% decline. Spain, which has been mired in sovereign debt of late, has been the second worst performing country, with stocks down 7.65%.