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A tale of 2 markets: German stocks rise after World Cup win as Argentine shares underperform

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LONDON - It's not just Argentine soccer fans who woke up depressed following their nation's 1-0 defeat to Germany in the World Cup final. Traders in Buenos Aires were also feeling blue.

Argentina's main Merval index was down 0.6 per cent in early afternoon trading Monday after the team succumbed to a late goal Sunday from German striker Mario Goetze in Rio de Janeiro.

That may not sound too bad, but when compared with other indexes in the region — and the world — Argentine shares were clearly underperforming.

In a sharp contrast to the Merval's performance, Germany's DAX closed 1.2 per cent higher — the biggest gain Monday among the major European stock indexes.

The stock market responses were widely anticipated.

Alex Edmans, a professor at London Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has analyzed stock market responses to World Cup defeats and found that those from losing nations have underperformed.

"Over the course of the World Cup, there have been 39 losses by countries with an active stock market," he said. "In two-thirds of these cases, the national market has underperformed the world market on the next day."

According to Goldman Sachs, the depressed mood may weigh on Argentine shares for a while to come.

In a report prior to the World Cup, the bank found that since 1974, most nations who lose in the final underperform for a month as traders suffer "a post-final bout of the blues."

Overall, it found that the victorious country's stocks outperform the global market by 3.5 per cent in the following month. Seven of the nine losing finalists, on the other hand, underperformed by 1.4 per cent.

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