International ETFs Suffer as US Stocks Plunge
International ETFs, especially emerging market ETFs, have been generous to investors in the past couple of years (remember the good “old” days of high-flying Chinese stocks?). However, things turned a little bit sour since the financial crisis triggered by subprime mortgage in the summer of 2007. On surface, the trouble here in this country seems affecting developed countries, such as U.K. and Switzerland, whose banks were exposed in this mess. But the suffer is not just limited in the developed world. Developing markets also took a hit as the slowed U.S economy tempered the demands from these countries.
In a little over a month, this crisis will be one year old. In the past year, the Dow lost 10.8%, the S&P dropped 11.9%, and the NASDAQ did a little better, downing 6.4%. Looking around the world, where’s the place for U.S. investors to put their money? The following table has performances of iShares MSCI individual country ETFs of the past 1 year, 3 years, and so-far this year.
|Fund Name||YTD return(%)||1-yr return(%)||3-yr return(%)|
|FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (FXI)||-18.84||19.92||37.69|
|Australia Index (EWA)||-6.00||0.97||20.59|
|Austria Index (EWO)||-1.08||-7.02||18.13|
|Belgium Index (EWK)||-8.03||-15.56||11.33|
|Brazil Index (EWZ)||12.54||55.23||59.85|
|Canada Index (EWC)||5.76||15.39||25.67|
|Chile Index (ECH)||1.28||N/A||N/A|
|France Index (EWQ)||-8.75||-7.21||14.47|
|Germany Index (EWG)||-10.81||0.67||22.58|
|Hong Kong Index (EWH)||-17.05||10.52||17.03|
|Israel Cap Invest Mkt Index (EIS)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Italy Index (EWI)||-12.08||-12.39||8.53|
|Japan Index (EWJ)||-2.33||-9.46||9.52|
|Kokusai Index (TOK)||-7.53||N/A||N/A|
|Malaysia Index (EWM)||-14.22||-4.78||19.81|
|Mexico Index (EWW)||6.66||-2.49||33.13|
|Netherlands Index (EWN)||-7.08||-3.28||18.09|
|Singapore Index (EWS)||-7.61||-3.36||23.17|
|South Africa Index (EZA)||-9.32||-2.81||21.36|
|South Korea Index (EWY)||-14.79||-7.42||19.67|
|Spain Index (EWP)||-7.89||3.41||22.29|
|Sweden Index (EWD)||-3.94||-12.58||16.52|
|Switzerland Index (EWL)||-4.31||-3.11||15.02|
|Taiwan Index (EWT)||1.73||4.49||9.99|
|Thailand Invest Mkt Index (THD)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Turkey Invest Mkt Index (TUR)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|United Kingdom Index (EWU)||-9.80||-10.92||10.34|
Brazil, whose economy is boosted by the booming commodity markets, is the clear winner here in all three periods. Biggest lowers are China and Hong Kong.
Are you investing in any individual country? I have PowerShares Gloden Dragon Halter USX China (PGJ) and for once, it was a great ETF to own, riding high with Chinese stocks. While investing in single county (the right country of course) can have tremendous result, it can also be very volatile. A better choice could be investing in a block of countries such as BRIC instead.
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