A REBOUND in Japanese equities has bolstered the performance of the world Morgan Stanley Capital International Perspective index, which rose 8.1 per cent during the first quarter of the year. Strong performances by Japan and Hongkong also helped the Far East index to rise 17.6 per cent during the period. The European index gained 5.9 per cent. In US dollar terms, the best performing international equity market over the period was Tokyo, which surged 18.4 per cent, a performance that was boosted by the strong Japanese yen. Norway rose 14.9 per cent and Hongkong was the third best performer, rising 14.3 per cent. The worst performing international market, and the only one to lose ground, was Sweden, which fell 0.4 per cent. Second worst was the United Kingdom, which rose 1.6 per cent, followed by Austria, up 2.5 per cent, and Singapore and Malaysia, up 3.1 per cent. According to Morgan Stanley, Taiwan was the best performing emerging market, surging 38.8 per cent in US dollar terms. In second place was Turkey, which leapt 31.6 per cent. Brazil, in third place, rose 19.5 per cent. The worst performer was South Korea, falling 2.7 per cent during the quarter, followed by Mexico, edging up 0.3 per cent, and Thailand, rising 1.7 per cent. In March, Hongkong was unchanged. Japan was 14 per cent up, and Norway 11.2 per cent up.