Led by the US, the equity market bull run continues to surpass expectations.

But all markets are not created equal. Emerging markets, China and even Australia's ASX have struggled for momentum this year while New Zealand's NZX has continued to outperform.

Wall Street's S&P 500 index - up more than 133 per cent in seven years - has this year been driven by tax cuts and a lot of share buy backs by major companies, says Pie Funds head of research Mark Devcich.

The other big driver had been tech stocks - with the Nasdaq index up 159 per cent in the past decade and 220 per cent in the past seven years, he said.


But while Wall Street has boomed emerging markets had struggled in the past decade and were under particular pressure this year, Devcich said.

"What's caused that is US dollar strength. So money's being pulled out of emerging markets and back to the US and this has caused devaluation in emerging market currencies."

Chinese markets are in bear territory - down over 20 per cent this year.

Other examples included Turkey - where shares were down more than 30 per cent in US dollar terms this year - and Argentina down 23 per cent in US dollar terms.

These countries were struggling because they were big importers and with the US dollar strengthening they were experiencing a lot of inflation.

The good news was that the New Zealand market was so far not being hit by the US resurgence.

The NZX-50 is up 160 per cent in the past seven years - significantly outperforming the Australian market which has risen by about 90 per cent in the same period.

"The Kiwi market has really been benefiting from the flight to defensive stocks," Devcich said. "So we have a lot of utilities in the Kiwi market. They pay good dividend yields so in a low interest market these types of stock are really attractive to investors."


Australia had suffered from over exposure to mining and banking, he said.

Commodity prices had not been strong in the past few years. Banking was under pressure as Australasian property came off the boil.

Looking further out Devcich said he could see the trend continuing through the year with US dollar strength put further pressure on emerging markets.