To help investors keep up with the markets, we present our ETF Scorecard. The Scorecard takes a step back and looks at how various asset classes across the globe are performing. The weekly performance is from last Friday’s open to this week’s Thursday close.
Chinese President Xi and U.S. President Trump began their 24-hour meeting on Thursday afternoon to talk about trade policy between the two world powers. President Trump has claimed that China is a “grand champion” of currency manipulation and that U.S. exports have suffered from the devaluation of the yuan. Another topic of conversation is Trump trying to press China to economically leverage North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. Bank of Japan’s Governor Kuroda spoke this week about the nation’s deflationary issues. He believes that gaining the people’s confidence is important for the economy to achieve the 2% inflation goal. However, business leaders expect annual price growth of only 0.7% next year, 1% in three years and 1.1% in five years, which are all lower than BOJ’s target. International trade data was released on Tuesday, showing a decline of $43.6 billion. This was better than the consensus of a $44.5 billion decline and was reflected upon a 1.8% drop in imports and only a 0.2% gain in exports. The trade deficit has centered around strong demand for foreign consumer goods and foreign autos. ADP Employment Report data came in at 263,000 for March, below the levels of both January and February. However, this was considerably higher than estimates of 170,000 and surpassed even the high end of the consensus range of 200,000. This month’s strength was driven by large gains in construction and manufacturing. Jobless claims data showed a large decline of 25,000 jobs this week, bringing the total claim amount to 234,000. This surpassed the consensus estimate of 250,000 and brings down the four-week average to 250,000. This measure solidifies the idea that the labor market is very strong and that jobless claims continue to be at record lows. Oil prices increased over the $50-per-barrel mark this week on news of a positive EIA Petroleum Status report. Crude oil inventories showed an increase of 1.6 million barrels for the last week in March to 534 million, which is up 7.4% on a year-over-year basis.
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Major Index Review
Global equities were predominantly negative for the week, with emerging markets showing the only gains.
Emerging Markets (EEM A-) was the week’s only gaining index, increasing 0.05%. It also continues to be the best-performing rolling 1-month index, up 2.90%. The Russell 2000 Index (IWM B+) was the week’s most declining index, down -1.34%. The Russell 2000 is also one of the worst-performing indices for the month, down -1.32%.
Foreign Equity Review
Foreign equities were a mixed bag this week, with gains coming only from Russia, India and China.
Russia (RSX B+) was this week’s best performer with a positive 2.55% return. Russia has also performed well over the rolling 1-month, up 5.35%. India (EPI B+) remains the leader in the rolling 1-month return, with a positive 7.34% return. Brazil (EWZ B+) was the worst-performing foreign equity for the week. The Brazilian index was down -1.02% for the week and remains down -4.37% for the last month. To find out more about ETFs exposed to particular countries, check our ETF Country Exposure tool. Select a particular country from a world map and get a list of all ETFs tracking your pick.
Commodities were all up for the week, with the exception of agriculture. For a full list of all commodity ETFs, click here.
Oil (USO A) was the best-performing commodity, up 3.23%. However, it remains negative with a rolling 1-month return of -4.57%. with a -4.57%. Natural gas (UNG B-) was the second best-performing commodity, up 2.09% for the week, and is still the best-performing commodity on a 1-month basis, up 13.50%. Agriculture (DBA A) was the week’s worst performer, down -0.96%.
Currencies were a mixed bag this week, with the biggest news focused on the beginning of Brexit. For a list of all currency ETFs, click here.
The Japanese Yen (FXY C+) was the week’s best-performing currency, up 0.75%. It’s also the best rolling 1-month currency, up 2.95%. The Australian Dollar (FXA A-) was the worst-performing currency, down -1.27% for the week. The British pound (FXB A-) continues to show little movement, up only 0.03% for the week. This is good news considering Brexit with Article 50 started last week.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.