Economic activity in the Euro zone dropped once again in November to a six-month low after governments enacted new lockdowns and social restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.The flash Euro zone PMI composite output index, which
takes into account the activity in both manufacturing and services sectors, came in at 45.1 in November — the lowest reading in six months, and down from 50 in October.
Due to the second wave of coronavirus cases in fall, many European nations tightened social restrictions in October, which weighed on business sentiments materially. The key countries that imposed restrictions were France, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Germany plans to extend lockdown into December as infections remain high. But the country has been able to manage business in this tough condition as the German flash PMI composite output index stood at 52 in November — the lowest in five months but in an expansionary zone.
However, France is
planning to ease its COVID-19 lockdown rules in the weeks before Christmas with falling new daily infections and retailers requesting to cash in on the annual shopping season. Overall, IHS Markit foresees 7.4% shrinkage in GDP (gross domestic product) in 2020 and only 3.7% expansion in 2021, as quoted in CNBC.
However, optimism around vaccine developments and the likelihood of a solid rebound in corporate confidence and profitability will
likely boost European stocks in 2021. “Expectations of more stimulus from the European Central Bank and the bloc’s 1.8 trillion euro plan to recover from the recession will also offer support,” per Reuters.
Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few Europe ETFs that have been pretty steady in the past month and were the top-performers last week.
ETFs in Focus First Trust STOXX European Select Dividend Index Fund ( FDD Quick Quote FDD - Free Report) – Up 26.7% past month; up 3.9% past week
The underlying STOXX Europe Select Dividend 30 Index consists of 30 high dividend-yielding securities selected from the STOXX Europe 600 Index. It charges 58 bps in fees and yields 3.86% annually.
iShares MSCI Spain ETF ( EWP Quick Quote EWP - Free Report) – Up 28.6% past month; up 3.9% past week
The underlying MSCI Spain 25/50 Index consists of stocks traded primarily on the Madrid Stock Exchange. The underlying index is free float adjusted market capitalization weighted with a capping methodology applied to issuer weights. The fund charges 50 bps in fees and yields 3.28% annually.
iShares MSCI Austria ETF ( EWO Quick Quote EWO - Free Report) – Up 28.3% past month; up 4.4% past week
The underlying MSCI Austria IMI 25/50 Index measures the equity market performance in Austria. The fund charges 49 bps in fees.
iShares MSCI Poland ETF ( EPOL Quick Quote EPOL - Free Report) – Up 27.1% past month; up 3.4% past week
The underlying MSCI Poland IMI 25/50 Index measures the equity market performance in Poland. The fund charges 61 bps in fees and yields 3.71% annually.
iShares MSCI Italy ETF ( EWI Quick Quote EWI - Free Report) – Up 27.0% past month; up 4.6% past week
The underlying MSCI Italy 25/50 Index measures the equity market performance in Italy. The fund charges 49 bps in fees and yields 1.57% annually.
Franklin FTSE Italy ETF ( FLIY Quick Quote FLIY - Free Report) – Up 27.0% past month; up 4.5% past week
The underlying FTSE Italy RIC Capped Index is market-capitalization weighted and represents the performance of Italian large and mid-capitalization stocks. The fund charges 9 bps in fees and yields 2.57% annually.
iShares MSCI Norway ETF ( ENOR Quick Quote ENOR - Free Report) – Up 24.1% past month; up 5% past week
The underlying MSCI Norway IMI 25/50 Index is designed to measure broad-based equity market performance in Norway. The fund charges 53 bps in fees and yields 1.78% annually.
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