J.P. Morgan & Co. has launched a new performance benchmark for emerging markets investors.

The new Emerging Local Markets Index tracks total returns for money- market instruments denominated in currencies of the emerging countries. The gauge is the latest addition to Morgan's benchmark indices for fixed-income investors, which include the Emerging Markets Bond Index Plus and the Global Government Bond Index.

Argentina, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkey comprise the newest index.

It covers three instrument types: Treasury bills, foreign exchange forwards, and deposits.

Morgan's new index will be calculated daily on a global, regional, and country basis in both U.S. dollar and local currency terms. Starting in July, returns will be available on major news wires and data distribution services.

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