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Eurozone small cap index is top performer in 2012

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The Russell Eurozone small cap index rose 25 percent in 2012, outperforming all other Russell indices last year, according to a report from Seattle-based Russell Investments.

The Russell Eurozone Small Cap Index’s growth rate surpassed that of the Russell Greater China Index—the second highest-performing index among the six Russell indexes—by nearly 6 percent. The China index grew 19.3 percent for all of 2012.

The third and fourth top-performing Russell Indexes in 2012 where the Russell Eurozone Index and the Russell Emerging Markets Index, which rose 19 percent and 17.3 percent, respectively.

The Russell 1000 Index and Russell 2000 index each edged up 14 percent last year.

“Equity markets in the U.S. and globally are appearing to benefit from optimism regarding the outlook for the Eurozone coupled with hope that the U.S. is able to responsibly resolve its debt-ceiling debate,” says Wouter Sturkenboom, investment strategist with Russell Investments Europe. “The ‘risk-on’ environment for investors thus far in 2013, despite continued policy uncertainty in the U.S. and weak economic factors in the Eurozone, is reflected in the returns of the Russell Indexes, particularly in the strong relative performance of small-cap stocks relative to large-cap stocks year-to-date in the Eurozone.”

The Russell Eurozone Small Cap Index remains the best-performing Russell index in 2013, having risen 6.3 as of January 22. The other Russell indexes have experienced the following growth rates to date:

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5.1 percent—Russell 2000 Index

4.1 percent—Russell 1000 Index

3.7 percent—Russell Eurozone Index

3.6 percent—Russell Great China Index

1.9 percent—Russell Emerging Markets Index