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Top-Performing Country ETFs of April

Sanghamitra Saha
Companies In The News Are: TIF,VTR,NAV,CMD

Even though April proved to be a stellar year for the U.S. market, global growth worries are more-or-less intact. And why not?

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the Euro zone’s economic growth was 0.2%, the lowest since the second quarter of 2014. The Japanese economy shrank 0.6% sequentially in the third quarter of 2018, though it recovered 0.5% in the following quarter. The Canadian economy logged the growth since the second quarter of 2016.

Germany’s automotive industry came under pressure because of new emission control standards. In France, the delay of Macron’s reform agenda hurt growth. In Italy, there were concerns over fiscal deficit, per QNB.

On the positive side, there were oil price strength, signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks,  stimulus in China’s economy, and Fed’s, ECB’s and Bank of Japan’s  dovish outlook. As a result, though global GDP growth is slowing, a serious crisis looks unlikely, according to QNB. Investors should also note that the growth rate for the Euro zone has also improved in the first quarter of 2019.

Against this backdrop, we highlight a few country ETFs that have stood tall in April and emerge as outperformers. The one-month performances are given below (per xtf.com).

iShares MSCI South Africa ETF EZA – Up 8.21%

The underlying MSCI South Africa 25/50 Index consists of stocks traded primarily on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The fund charges 59 bps in fees (read: 6 Top ETFs of April).

Global X MSCI China Communication Services ETF CHIC – Up 7.98%

Though China’s manufacturing sector is facing an upheaval, communication services seemed to have retained strength. Netease (10.25%), Tencent (9.85%), Baidu (8.40%) and China Mobile (7.70%) are the top four holdings of the fund. The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) ETF charges 65 bps in fees.

iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Germany ETF HEWG – Up 7.40%

The underlying MSCI Germany 100% Hedged to USD Index consists of stocks traded primarily on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with the currency risk of the securities included in the Underlying Index hedged against the U.S. dollar on a monthly basis. The Zacks Rank #2 fund charges 53 bps in fees (see all European Equity ETFs here).

iShares MSCI Austria ETF EWO – Up 6.79%

The underlying MSCI Austria IMI 25/50 Index measures the equity market performance in Austria. Erste Group Bank (21.57%), OMV (12.25%), Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) are the top three holdings. The fund charges 47 bps in fees (read: How Europe ETFs are Susceptible to U.S.-China Trade Spat?).

iShares MSCI Sweden ETF EWD – Up 6.59%

The underlying MSCI Sweden 25/50 Index consists of stocks traded primarily on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Ericsson (7.72%), Volvo (6.35%) and Nordea Bank (6.10%) are the top three holdings of the fund. The fund charges 53 bps in fees.

iShares MSCI Netherlands ETF EWN ) – Up 6.19%

The underlying MSCI Netherlands IMI 25/50 Index consists of stocks traded primarily on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Unilever Dutch Certificates (16.13%), ASML Holding (14.72%) and ING Groep (8.52%) are the top three holdings of the fund. The fund charges 47 bps in fees.

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iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Germany ETF (HEWG): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares MSCI Austria ETF (EWO): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares MSCI Netherlands ETF (EWN): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (EZA): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares MSCI Sweden ETF (EWD): ETF Research Reports
 
Global X MSCI China Communication Services ETF (CHIC): ETF Research Reports
 
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