THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Emerging Markets’ Unsettling Tune

The opening lines of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” seem like the right musical accompaniment for investors as they shed money, and maybe a few tears, over emerging markets.

Explaining the turmoil that has gripped Argentina, Turkey, Thailand and other developing economies won’t be easy, but you’ll think it strange that many smart fund managers aren’t recommending a complete retreat from emerging markets.

The facts are pretty stark. Emerging-market stocks lost nearly 7% in January alone, many currencies got hammered and central banks had to resort to emergency measures to stanch the bleeding. Unsurprisingly, investors bailed. Exchange-traded funds that focus on emerging-market stocks saw their second-biggest withdrawal on record in the week ended Jan. 29, according to Lipper.

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