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.
The trade war between the U.S. and China has escalated a notch after the countries exchanged another round of import tariffs. After the Donald Trump administration imposed levies on $200 billion of Chinese products, China swiftly struck back with tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. The thorny issue of the Irish border is still the largest impediment to a Brexit deal before the March 29 deadline. After a few weeks filled with optimism on the European side that a deal was a live likelihood, policymakers across the aisle were less positive at a meeting in Salzburg, Austria. A summit in November will prove crucial as many observers argue that such negotiations typically go down to the wire. The Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged and struck an upbeat tone despite mounting worries over trade wars. The central bank did not change its guidance compared to July, committing to keep interest rates low for an extended period of time, while noting ‘moderate’ economic expansion. U.S. retail sales rose 0.1% in August, the lowest showing in six months, mostly due to lower purchases of cars and clothing items. Core retail sales advanced by 0.3%, considerably less than expected. European inflation dropped to 2% in August from 2.1% in July, according to a final estimate released by Eurostat. Consumer prices in Britain shot up to an annual rate of 2.7% in August versus expectations of 2.4% on unexpected rises in air fares. The advance increased bets the UK central bank will hike interest rates earlier than forecasted. Crude oil inventories dropped more than 2.1 million barrels in the week ended September 14, marking the fifth consecutive weekly decline. The U.S. job market is continuing to tighten, with unemployment claims reaching a record low of 201,000 for the week ended September 15, down from 204,000 in the prior week. Analysts had forecasted 210,000 claims.
Risk Appetite Review
Risk assets (SPHB B-) advanced as much as 2.31% during the five days ended September 20, posting the best performance from the pack. Meanwhile, the broad market (SPY A) edged up 0.87% in spite of Brexit uncertainty and an escalation of the trade war between the U.S. and China. Low volatility (SPLV A) recorded the only losses this week, down 0.16%. Sign up for ETFdb.com Pro and get access to real-time ratings on over 1,900 U.S. listed ETFs.
Major Index Review
Major indexes were all up. The index tracking Europe, Asia and Australia (EFA A) is the best performer for the week, up 2.6%, reversing some of the losses from previous weeks. The technology sector (QQQ A-) posted the smallest gain for the week, up 0.03%. Dow Jones (DIA A-) remains the best performer for the rolling month with a rise of 3.53%. Unsurprisingly, emerging markets (EEM A-) are the worst monthly performers, although, on the bright side, its performance is finally in the black, up 0.47%. To see how these indices performed last week, check out ETF Scorecard: September 14 Edition.
The financial sector (XLF A) recovered strongly this week, surging 3.24%, after claiming the title of the worst performer in the prior week. Amid strong bullish sentiment, utilities (XLU A) are the worst performers for the week, down as much as 1.95%. Not unexpectedly, XLU is also the worst monthly performer with a decline of 1.73%. The industrial sector (XLI A) shot up nearly 4% for the rolling month, comfortably beating its peers. Use our head to head comparison tool to compare two ETFs such as (XLF A) and (XLU A) on a variety of criteria such as performance, AUM, trading volume and expenses.
Foreign Equity Review
Brazil (EWZ B+) is experiencing a heavy bout of volatility of late. This week (EWZ B+) jumped 5.61%, outperforming its emerging market peers after last week it declined by a similar amount. India (EPI B+) is the only faller for the week, down 0.80%, hurt by a Goldman Sachs report predicting the market rally was over. Down 2.43%, EPI is also the worst performer for the rolling month. Russia (RSX B+) is the best performer for the rolling month, up 6.3%. 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 with one exception. Natural gas (UNG B-) is the best performer for the week with an impressive jump of 6.61%. Meanwhile, the agricultural fund (DBA A) posted flat gains for the past five days, becoming the worst weekly performer. Silver (SLV C+) continues to be the worst performer for the rolling month, down as much as 3.2%, while oil (USO A) is up more than 6%.
The U.S. dollar (UUP A) gave back some gains this week, enough to be the worst performer for the week, down 0.84%. The European shared currency (FXE A) surged around 1.8% in the past five days, despite weak economic data of late and a deteriorating sentiment among European businesses. The Japanese yen (FXY C+) is the worst performer for the rolling month, down 1.90%, as its safe haven appeal withered in recent weeks. The British pound (FXB A-) is the best monthly performer with an advance of 3.26% thanks to recent surprisingly positive GDP data.
For more ETF analysis, make sure to sign up for our free ETF newsletter.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.