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ETF Focus: France


Europe is once again squarely in focus in the daily equity market moving chatter, and recall that we recently highlighted ETFs that grant exposure to Germany’s equity markets.

Germany is the third largest country component (13.12% weighting) in the S&P Europe 350 Index, and its neighbor France, is the second highest weighting in this index at 14.15%.

iShares MSCI France (EWQ) — expense ratio 0.52% — remains the “barometer” for market participants monitoring and looking for access to the French equity markets, and the ETF has a track record that dates back to 1996.

The fund currently has $492 million in assets under management and averages more than 730,000 shares on an average daily basis, and yesterday traded on a gap lower after eclipsing year and a half highs just last Friday. [France ETF Unfazed by Credit Downgrade]

EWQ has a mega and large cap slant to it, with 51.88% of its holdings allocated to mega caps and another 32.55% allocated to large caps, and top holdings are currently: Sanofi (10.70%), Total SA (10.41%), BNP Paribas (5.43%), LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (4.40%), and Air Liquide SA (3.67%).

From a sector standpoint, Industrials and Consumer Cyclicals are well represented, with approximately 31% of the portfolio residing in those sectors, followed by Health Care, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, and to a much lesser degree other sector weightings.

EWQ has been trading well above its 50 day moving average since late November of last year, so in the near term it will be important to see if yesterday’s setback after a prolonged rally was just a temporary misstep or if there is more bloodletting to come in not only France, but other individual European country based ETFs.

iShares MSCI France


For more information on Street One ETF research and ETF trade execution/liquidity services, contact Paul Weisbruch at pweisbruch@streetonefinancial.com.