Emerging market rally to continue in 2012: Citi
Most of the 2012 gains will likely come early in the year on lower inflation and falling interest rates in emerging markets, Citigroup wrote in its global emerging markets strategy report.
The 11.2 percent rise in MSCI Global Emerging Markets index in January was the best first month of the year since 2001 and the first January gain of any kind since 2006, analyst Geoffrey Dennis said.
The MSCI Emerging Market Index has seen a year-to-date rise of 16 percent, according to Reuters data.
Citigroup's sentiment indicator has risen from "panic" to just above "neutral."
"This suggests sentiment is much better, but not yet euphoric. This is good news for the rally," analyst Dennis said.
Citigroup upgraded Brazil to "overweight" from a "strong neutral" citing room for another 100 basis points of rate cuts.
The prevalence of high-beta outperformance is clear, the brokerage said and downgraded a lower-beta, or less volatile, South Africa to "neutral."