NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Global indices, with the exception of Brazil, closed last week on a more positive note. Brazil's Bovespa ended 0.3% lower on concerns regarding the country's central bank lowering interest rates. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.4% -- the highest among all the emerging market indices -- as the preliminary reading for China's manufacturing PMI increased to 49.8 for August from 49.3 in July. India's Nifty shed 0.3%.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones accumulated 1.6% and 1.4%, respectively. During the past week, the U.S. Commerce Department reported 4% increase in durable-goods orders, surpassing market estimates. Also, U.S. home prices for July were up 0.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis. Meanwhile, investors eagerly await Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's keynote speech, anticipating further stimulus to boost the sluggish economy.
For the week ended Aug. 17, according to data compiled by international fund-tracking firm EPFR, emerging market local currency bond funds attracted inflows of $273 million as compared to $109 million in the previous week. Meanwhile, emerging market equity funds recorded outflows of $2.8 billion for the week, while developed market equity funds faced $1.2 billion in outflows.
As of Aug. 17, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has dropped 13.5% so far this year, while the MSCI World index has slipped 10.3%. Besides, of the 57 emerging and developed market regional indices, 17 of the worst performing 20 are emerging markets, year-to-date. Despite the gloom, a Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey last week showed that emerging markets is the only overweight region for global investors.On the concerns of global growth, the various measures taken by the central bank of India to curb price increases would lead to a slowdown in demand which could impact corporate earnings. Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH - Get Report) topped the list of gainers last week, up 8.7%. The U.K. Financial Services Authority (FSA) has selected Cognizant to be its key supplier for a comprehensive range of services, as part of its Strategic Outsourcing Framework Agreement. CTSH will support and develop operational and regulatory systems to support the FSA to boost efficiencies and responsiveness and improve market surveillance.