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Why Europe ETFs May Be Better Bets Than U.S.

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Europe investing has outperformed the United States in the initial phase of 2023. Cheaper valuation, upbeat corporate earnings, a more resilient economy and still-lower interest rates in Europe than United States have led to the rally. The continent’s markets have shown impressive trajectory in the first quarter of this year, and the trend has continued into the second quarter of the year.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index is hovering around a 14-month high. Banks seemed to have subsided the latest failure worry with the Deutsche bank and Barclays having reported decent results in the latest reporting season. Mining stocks are also in sweet spot after China’s economy reopened and grew more than expected at 4.5% year on year.

Let’s delve a little deeper why Europe ETFs have been soaring higher.

Cheaper Valuation

“Regional stock markets [of Europe] have been on a good run year-to-date, but remain at a discount both on a historical basis and versus U.S. peers,” said Helen Jewell, as quoted on CNBC, few weeks ago. The P/E ratio of (SPY - Free Report) is 17.86X currently while SPDR EURO STOXX 50 ETF (FEZ - Free Report) has a P/E ratio of 11.56X even after a stellar run in 2023.

Euro-Zone Core Inflation Slows

Underlying inflation in the Euro area eased for the first time in 10 months, supporting the case for the European Central Bank to slow the most aggressive interest-rate hiking campaign in its history. If the rate hike momentum slows or pauses altogether, the Euro zone stocks should make an even sturdier rebound. European Central Bank hiked rates by 25 basis points this month, slowing the pace of hikes. Nevertheless, the ECB indicated that further increases in interest rates are on the horizon.

GDP Picture Decent

The latest data showed the UK economy grew slightly in the first quarter, reducing the risk of recession. The Eurozone economy managed to inch forward in the first quarter, expanding just 0.1% sequentially as high inflation and interest rates weigh on activity. Germany was the key dampener. But the, France's economy grew by 0.2% in the first quarter, despite widespread strikes triggered by President Emmanuel Macron's proposed pension reforms (read: ETFs to Watch as Germany's Q1 GDP Hurts Eurozone).

Still-Lower Rates in Europe Than United States

Though both European Central Bank (ECB) and the Federal Reserve (Fed) have hiked rates in recent times to control inflation, ECB’s rates are still way lower than that of the Fed. A recent Reuters poll indicated that the ECB deposit rate will peak at 3.75% or higher, while rates in the United States may peak at 6%, as expected by analysts. However, the latest global bank crisis may keep the Fed and the ECB from hiking rates that fast.

Against this backdrop, below, we highlight a few winning Europe ETFs of this year.

ETFs in Focus

iShares MSCI Ireland ETF (EIRL - Free Report) – Up 23.7%

ALPS O'Shares Europe Quality Dividend ETF (OEUR - Free Report) – Up 19.1%

Franklin FTSE Italy ETF – Up 18.9%

SPDR EURO STOXX 50 ETF (FEZ - Free Report) – Up 18.9%

Franklin FTSE France ETF – Up 18.9%


Investing in Europe ETFs can be an attractive option for investors looking to diversify their portfolios and capitalize on potential growth opportunities. With rising European markets, relatively stable political environment, and still-lesser interest rates, Europe ETFs may be a better bet than U.S. ETFs.

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