Semi-Tough: Global ETFs for a Second-Half Rebound
Global equities have struggled in the past several months. There is no getting around that and the statistics indicate as much. In the past 90 days, the Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSE: VWO) is off almost 11 percent while the Vanguard MSIC Europe ETF (NYSE: VGK) is down nearly seven percent.
The Vanguard Total International Stock Index ETF (NASDAQ: VXUS) is no peach either with a loss of 8.4 percent since April 13. While that is just a trio of ETFs, the performances underscore the notion that finding even small pockets of strength among international funds is a trying endeavor in the current market environment.
The good news is that it is not impossible to find some global ETFs that have been showing signs of outperforming in the second half. One merely needs to know where to look and this list will help with that task.
Global X Norway ETF (NYSE: NORW) Even with a loss of 1.3 percent today, the Global X Norway ETF has surged nearly four percent in the past month. Still, investors need to be aware that NORW is the epitome of a double-edged sword among international ETFs.
Norway is not a member of the Eurozone, but proximity to those problematic countries has been a drag on NORW. Second, Norway is an oil exporter, meaning falling oil demand and prices are issues that cannot be glossed over regarding this fund. On the other hand, Norway is viewed by some as the safest bet in Europe and is among the most fiscally sound countries on the continent. A move above $13.50 would likely confirm a breakout for NORW.
Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF (NYSE: IDX) Indonesia has been a vexing proposition for investors this year. As Southeast Asia's largest economy, the country should have stood out in that region in the first half of the year. In terms of ETFs, IDX and the iShares MSCI Indonesia Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: EIDO) did stand out earlier this year. Those funds stood out as laggards while other emerging markets ETFs were soaring in the first quarter.
IDX has rallied nearly four percent in the past month. If the fund can hold around $27 and keep closing above there, that could portend a breakout above $28. The bear case for IDX and EIDO is clear: Further retrenchment among emerging markets funds. In that scenario, traders will eventually find their way to punishing Indonesian ETFs as well.
iShares MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: EPHE) Not many ETFs tracking global markets, developed or developing, can boast of recently touching a new 52-week high, but that is exactly what EPHE did just a few days ago. Traders that actively follow the Philippines will not be surprised to see EPHE on this list.
For those that are not familiar with this rising Asian tiger, the combination of rising GDP growth, improving credit ratings and the government's strong balance are just three catalysts that could lift this ETF not only in the second half, but over the long-term as well.
iShares MSCI Chile Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: ECH) For myriad reasons, the inclusion of the iShares MSCI Chile Investable Market Index Fund on this list might come as a surprise. There is the fact that Chile is the world's largest copper-producing nation. That is not a good thing when the Chinese economy is slowing.
Of course, it cannot be ignored that Latin America equities, broadly speaking, have recently been weak. On that note, ECH plunged 10 percent in the second quarter. The fund found support in the $58 area and has perked up a bit since early June. Given Chile's copper exposure, there are no guarantees ECH can flourish in the second half, but the fund is up 3.2 percent in the past month, easily outpacing the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (NYSE: EWZ) over the that time.
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