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6 European Country ETFs to Buy Now

Sanghamitra Saha

The global economy is surely on the mend. The World Bank has also testified to it. The Bank has kept its forecast for global growth in 2017 and 2018 same at 2.7% and 2.9%. If attained, the global economy will score a seven-year high growth rate next year.

In any case, the European economy was off to stellar this year thanks to economic improvement and upbeat corporate earnings. The region also expanded faster than the U.S. in 2016 for the first time since 2008 (read: What Makes These Europe ETFs Still Roaring).

However, uncertainty in spreading in the European markets currently, especially due to the impending elections this year. Overvaluation concerns may also crop up after a steady run in the European ETFs at the start of the year.

 As a result, investors must be watchful about which ETFs to pick. Below we highlight some ETFs that could be great picks right now irrespective of political threats. Many of these were upgraded last month as per the Zacks methodology (see all European Equity ETFs here).

Austria – iShares MSCI Austria Capped EWO

Austria's economy advanced 0.7% sequentially in Q1 of 2017, after an upwardly revised 0.6% expansion in the earlier period and ahead of an initial estimate of a 0.6% expansion. Export growth in this trade-centric country paced up to 2.4% from 0.3% in the previous quarter’s outdoing imports, which grew at 2%. This makes it important to bet on this Austria ETF.

Netherlands – iShares MSCI Netherlands EWN

Per the source, the Netherlands is beating the EU average with expected economic growth of 2.1% this year and 1.8% in 2018. Investors should note in this context that the European Commission expects that the EU economy to expand 1.7% this year and 1.8% in the next. This piece of information is strong enough to make investors more focused on the Netherlands. EWN has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a Low risk outlook.

Denmark – iShares MSCI Sweden Capped EWD

This is yet another promising bet on the European front. Denmark’s center-right government upped its forecast for economic growth for this year and indicated that it would borrow less via bond markets on account of shrinkage in public deficit.

The government expects the deficit to shrink to 1.5% of GDP this year versus the 1.9% shortfall projected earlier. Notably, the Danish economy grew 0.6% sequentially in the first quarter of 2017, higher than flash estimates of 0.3% and following 0.5% growth seen in the earlier period. EWD has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a Medium risk outlook.

Ireland – iShares MSCI Ireland Capped EIRL

Ireland's GDP grew 2.5% sequentially in the three months ended December 2016. Standard & Poor’s expects Ireland’s economic growth to average 3% over the next four years despite Brexit risks. In fact, the rating agency sees short-lived damage to the Irish economy if Brexit happens. EIRL has a Zacks Rank #2 with a Medium risk outlook.

Belgium – iShares MSCI Belgium Capped EWK

Belgium's GDP grew 0.6% sequentially in the first quarter of 2017, higher than preliminary estimates of 0.5% and following 0.4% growth in the previous period. The Governor of the National Bank of Belgium believes that Belgium will return to its past growth rate of 2 to 2.5% sooner or later. The economy logged modest growth in the last three years “since suffering a mild recession in 2013 during the region's financial crisis.” With this type of an economic background, Zacks Rank #2 EWK comes across as a decent bet (read: Europe After Brexit: 5 Keys to Investing with ETFs).

Switzerland – First Trust Switzerland AlphaDEX ETF FSZ

The Swiss economy expanded 0.3% sequentially in the first quarter of 2017, following an upwardly revised 0.2% expansion. This marks the strongest expansion since the second quarter of 2016 thanks to improving exports and business environment.

Consumer prices in April increased 0.4% year over year in April 2017. This means the inflationary backdrop is decent in the country. This makes a bet on Switzerland intriguing. FSZ has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a Low risk outlook.

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ISHARS-AUSTRIA (EWO): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-NETHERLD (EWN): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-BELGIUM (EWK): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-MS IRLND (EIRL): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHRS-MS SWEDEN (EWD): ETF Research Reports
 
FT-SWITZERLAND (FSZ): ETF Research Reports
 
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