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Best/Worst Weekly ETF Returns: Japan Woes

Cinthia Murphy

Japan-focused ETFs were the worst-performing funds in the week ended Thursday, May 30, tagging on losses that reached 10 percent in some cases, feeling the weight of a sliding Nikkei even as the U.S. stock market managed to tally modest gains.

Japan’s Nikkei dropped more than 5 percent in one single day this past week, staging one of its worst weekly performances in a year that’s been so far marked by a stellar 65 percent jump in Japanese stocks. Meanwhile, the S'P 500 inched 0.2 percent higher to close at 1,654.41 Thursday.

Japanese equities funds such as the iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ)—the biggest in the space—bled 8.5 percent of its value in the period. The $11.56 billion fund also saw massive trading volume of 407 million shares in the past week.

Even the currency-hedged Japan equities duo, WisdomTree’s DXJ and Deutsche Bank’s DBJP, were caught in the downdraft despite their currency-hedge feature designed to protect investors from the detrimental impact a weakening yen can have on returns. DBJP and DXJ came in at Nos. 2 and 3 in the tally of week’s worst performers, with losses of 10 and 9.8 percent, respectively.

That exposure to the yen currently amounts to a 36 percent drag on U.S.-investor returns compared to local Japanese investors, on a 12-month rolling basis, according to IndexUniverse data.

On the flip side, precious metals miner ETFs showed some of the week’s strongest returns, even if the funds remain among the worst-performing strategies year-to-date.

The $1.6 billion Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) and the Global X Gold Explorers ETF (GLDX) each rallied more than 12 percent in the past week, and the $5.8 billion Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) tagged on 8.6 percent in gains.

“It remains to be seen whether this is the bottom that will hold, but the bearish fundamentals—cost pressures and lower gold prices—haven't gone away,” HardAssetsInvestor analyst Sumit Roy told IndexUniverse.

Top 10 Weekly Performers, Excluding Leverage/Inverse Funds and '1,000 Shares Traded

Ticker Name Weekly Performance Weekly Volume AUM ($, mm)
GRN iPath Global Carbon ETN 13.94% 140,969 0.66
GLDX Global X Gold Explorers 12.60% 154,041 29.55
GDXJ Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners 12.07% 17,128,286 1,611.01
SIL Global X Silver Miners 9.52% 760,643 223.80
TAN Guggenheim Solar 9.00% 1,328,549 111.11
GDX Market Vectors Gold Miners 8.64% 109,886,073 5,801.15
RING iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners 8.26% 281,156 34.64
PSAU PowerShares Global Gold and Precious Metals 7.79% 42,906 22.91
GGGG Global X PURE Gold Miners 6.92% 15,408 3.20
QCLN First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy 6.87% 343,702 46.18

Bottom 10 Weekly Performers, Excluding Leverage/Inverse Funds and '1,000 Shares Traded

Ticker Name Weekly Performance Weekly Volume AUM ($, mm)
NKY Maxis Nikkei 225 -10.48% 10,171,633 257.47
DBJP db X-trackers MSCI Japan Hedged Equity -10.04% 723,597 115.97
DXJ WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity -9.88% 40,904,921 9,929.59
FJP First Trust Japan AlphaDex -9.15% 24,178 18.82
JPP SPDR Russell/Nomura PRIME Japan -9.12% 128,477 33.46
FEFN iShares MSCI Far East Financials -9.00% 20,018 8.61
ITF iShares S'P/TOPIX 150 -8.90% 69,004 85.93
GREK Global X FTSE Greece 20 -8.73% 424,088 49.17
EWJ iShares MSCI Japan -8.57% 407,670,575 11,568.26
DFJ WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend -8.54% 452,707 269.85

Disclaimer:All data as of 6 a.m. Eastern time the date the article is published. Data is believed to be accurate; however, transient market data is often subject to subsequent revision and correction by the exchanges.

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