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Top and Flop ETFs of Last Week

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Last week was a modest one for U.S. markets with SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA - Free Report) losing 0.1%, SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY - Free Report) gaining 0.4%andthe Nasdaq-based Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ - Free Report) advancing 0.7%. Key events of the week were a slew of earnings releases, progress on Brexit and an upheaval in the oil patch.

Against this backdrop, we highlight a few ETF winners and losers of last week.

Toppers

United States Natural Gas UNG — Up 17.2% per xtf.com

Like in most winters, natural gas prices started receiving warmth from the chills this year.  Per EIA, natural gas inventory was 15.6% lower than the five-year average and 14% lesser than the year-ago level (read: Natural Gas ETFs to Heat Up on Winter Chills?).

The cold snap boosts electricity or heating demand across the region, putting focus on natural gas. According to AccuWeather, the United States may witness the El Nino weather pattern this winter, causing much colder-than-average temperatures in most of the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley of the country, particularly in January and February. This provided a boost to UNG.

Franklin FTSE South Africa ETF FLZA — Up 9.8%

The latest bloodbath in Wall Street, slight weakness in the greenback and political uncertainty concerning Brexit led investors to the emerging market (EM) pack, probably due to cheaper valuation. The bloc has seen immense pain in mid-2018 and investors are taking interest of late (read: Time to Buy the Beaten-Down Emerging Market ETFs?).

Also, speculation that the South African Reserve Bank may hike rates at its policy meeting on Thursday boosted the already juicy carry yield offered by the rand (read: Are All of 'Fragile Five' EM ETFs Equally Frail?).

Xtrackers Harvest CSI 500 China A Small-Cap ETF (ASHS - Free Report) — Up 9.4%

Like many analysts, we believe thatthe inclusion of China’s A-shares in global and emerging market indices is a great positive for this Chinese segment. Notably, MSCI added China A shares in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and the MSCI ACWI Index in June 2018. FTSE Russell also announced the addition of mainland shares to its flagship indexes starting next June (read: Stimulus Hopes Boost China's Stocks: ETFs Gain the Most).

MSCI Inc. is now considering quadrupling the weight of Chinese big-caps to 20% in its global benchmarks. MSCI also proposed the inclusion of mid-caps from 2020 and shares listed on Shenzhen's start-up board ChiNext next year. Also, policymakers’ supports like a possible cut in benchmark lending rates boosted these stocks.

VanEck Vectors Indonesia ETF (IDX - Free Report) — Up 7.3%

Indonesia’s central bank surprisingly hiked rates on Nov 15 by 25 bps to 6%, after trade balance recorded a gap in October. It was the economy’s sixth rate hike this year. This in turn boosted Indonesian stocks as the move shored up its currency, put a cap on inflation and attracted yield-hungry investors.

Losers

UBS ETRACS S&P GSCI Credit Oil Total Return ETN OILX — Down 6.3%

Weaker-than-expected U.S. sanctions on Iran and fears of waning global demand amid growth worries weighed on oil prices last week and hit the product.

Morgan Stanley Cushing MLP High Income Index ETN (MLPY - Free Report) — Down 6.1%

A decline in oil prices and rising rate worries hurt this high-yielding corner of the energy sector. The fund yields 10.38% annually (read: Brent in Bear Market: 4 Country ETFs to be Cautious About).

First Trust Nasdaq Retail ETF (FTXD - Free Report) — Down 5.9%

Downbeat earnings fromJ.C. Penney (JCP - Free Report) and Dillard's (DDS - Free Report) affected retail stocks. The J.C. Penney stock’s loss of 5.2% on Nov 16 and Dillard's fall of 14.8% on Nov 15 due to disappointing earnings rippled through the retail sector.

ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ — Down 5.8%

Corporate earnings worked against the marijuana ETF. Two of Canada’s top cannabis producers, Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC - Free Report) and Tilray Inc. (TLRY - Free Report) saw net losses, sending pot stocks spiraling down on Nov 14. To add to the woes, Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton sounded less optimistic about the industry’s growth in America, at least in the near term. Meanwhile, both Tilary and Cronos Group (CRON - Free Report) reported a decline in average selling price for cannabis products (read: What Went Wrong With the Marijuana ETF on Wednesday).

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