This is turning out as a banner year for stocks across the globe. This is especially true, as the global stock market has climbed every single month this year, for the first time in the 30-year history of the MSCI AC World Index, according to Charles Schwab.
The rally was mainly driven by strengthening economic fundamentals, booming trade, strong corporate earnings and a rise in commodity prices. Additionally, investors' unstoppable enthusiasm for technology stocks as well as improving economic growth in emerging markets added to the strength. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, all 45 countries are on track to grow this year and expected to continue the momentum in 2018. Per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global growth is expected to be 3.6% this year and 3.7% in the next versus 3.2% last year. This would mark the fastest growth since 2010. While the U.S. stock market is in the midst of its second-longest bull run in history, the real encouragement came from the international stock market. This is especially true as Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF VEU targeting the international equity market has gained about 21.9% in the year-to-date time frame compared with growth of 19.3% for iShares MSCI ACWI ETF ACWI, which targets the global stock market, including the United States, and 15.3% for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY (read: S&P 500 Tops 2600: ETFs & Stocks That Deserve Special Thanks). The lure of international bourses is likely to remain in the coming months given the prospect to end the cheap monetary policy era, especially in Europe. The tightening of policy will be in line with the Fed and push the U.S. dollar lower and other currencies higher, making international investing tempting. Given this, we have highlighted four international ETFs that hit their all-time highs in the last trading session. Any of these could be excellent plays for investors seeking to ride out the bullish trend to close the year given that these have a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). Guggenheim China Technology ETF CQQQ This fund targets the overall technology sector in China and follows the AlphaShares China Technology Index, holding 72 stocks in its basket. It is highly concentrated on the top two firms, Tencent Holdings TCEHY and Alibaba ( BABA Quick Quote BABA - Free Report) , at 12.5% and 10.5%, respectively. The product manages an asset base of $420.3 million while charges 70 bps in fees per year. It touched an all-time high of $67.24 per share, and has returned about 89.5% so far this year. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a High risk outlook (read: Be Thankful to These China ETFs This Year). PowerShares Golden Dragon China Portfolio PGJ This ETF targets the Chinese equity market but is relatively unpopular with AUM of $241.2 million. It tracks the Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index while charges 70 bps in fees and expenses. Holding 59 stocks in the basket, the fund is moderately concentrated across components as each security holds no more than 9% of assets. Further, about half of the portfolio is dominated by information technology, followed by consumer discretionary (33.0%). PGJ has surged 62.6% in the year-to-date time frame and reached its all-time high of $46.39 per share in the last trading session. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a High risk outlook. iShares MSCI India Small-Cap ETF SMIN This product provides exposure to the small-cap segment of the broad Indian stock market by tracking the MSCI India Small Cap Index. It holds a well-diversified portfolio of 256 stocks with none accounting for more than 2.23% share. SMIN is relatively unpopular with AUM of $258.6 million and charges 80 bps in annual fees. The fund has climbed about 52.8% in the year-to-date time frame, having hit a fresh high of $50.08. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a High risk outlook (read: Here's Why India ETFs Are Still Worth Buying). iShares MSCI EAFE Small-Cap ETF SCZ This product offers exposure to a broad basket of 1612 small cap stocks in Europe, Australia, Asia and the Far East by tracking the MSCI EAFE Small Cap Index. No single firm holds more than 0.52% of the total fund assets. Industrials takes the top spot from a sector look with 22.1% share while consumer discretionary, information technology, financials and real estate round off the next four spots with a double-digit exposure each. The product has AUM of $9.9 billion and charges 40 bps in fees from investors. SCZ hit a fresh high of $63.46, and has gained 29% so far this year. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a Low risk outlook. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>