The third quarter of 2019 was all about the ebb and flow of trade tensions, global monetary policy easing and Trump’s impeachment talks. While markets were volatile on a flare-up in trade relations with China, a host of global monetary policy easing helped the broader market to a large extent.
Overall, the S&P 500 lost about 0.1% in Q3, the Dow Jones added about 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite is off 1.9%. All-world ETF iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI - Free Report) has retreated 1.2% in the third quarter.
Against this backdrop, let’s take a look at which ETF areas have exceled globally in the July-September period.
Thanks to heightening trade worries and the resultantrisk-off trade sentiment, demand for precious metals like gold and silver has risen. These metals are regarded as a store of wealth and an alternative investment to risky assets during economic and political uncertainty. No wonder, mining stocks would benefit from this rising trend.
Gainers include ETFMG Prime Junior Silver ETF (SILJ - Free Report) (up 15.2%), U.S. Global GO GOLD and Precious Metal Miners ETF (GOAU - Free Report) (up 12.5%),Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL - Free Report) (up 8.5%), iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners ETF (RING - Free Report) (up 8.5%) and iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners ETF (SLVP - Free Report) (up 8.4%) (read: Top-Performing Stocks of the Best ETF of Q3).
The global population is aging fast. The number of persons aged 60 years or above is expected to increase from 962 million in 2017 to about 2.1 billion by 2050, according to UN. The aged population comprises 13% of the global populace and is rising at a rate of about 3% per year.
Aging global population means that a considerable amount of global disposable income is governed by the senior population. The trend results in a huge long-term care market. Naturally, Long-Term Care ETF (OLD - Free Report) has added about 7.3% in the quarter. North America (78.8%), Europe (10.3%) and Asia/Pacific Ex Japan (7.1%) are the top three regions of the fund (read: 4 ETFs to Bet on Global Aging Population).
Easy money polices across the globe have resulted in lower interest rates and gone a long way in boosting rate-sensitive utilities stocks. Also, global growth worries and geopolitical tensions have contributed positively to the safe-haven appeal of the sector. iShares Global Utilities ETF (JXI - Free Report) has added 6.5% in Q3. United States (62.29%), Spain (6.31%), Italy (5.47%) and United Kingdom (5.32%) are the top four countries of the fund.
The underlying RARE Global Infrastructure Index comprises infrastructure-related equity securities in developed and developing markets that are included on the MSCI ACWI All Cap Index.
Low rates are great for infrastructure stocks too. Investors should note that not just the developed economies, emerging markets have also embarked on rate cuts of late. This must have kept the rates low in the third quarter and benefited this infrastructure ETF.Legg Mason Global Infrastructure ETF (INFR - Free Report) has added 4.2% in the quarter.
The ECB and the Fed cut rates in the quarter. The ECB, in fact, launched a QE measure in the quarter. The U.S. economy has also been reporting decent growth in consumer spending. Both factors have acted in favor of consumer stocks.
iShares Global Consumer Staples ETF (KXI - Free Report) tacked on 3.8% gains in the quarter. United States accounts for 51% of the fund, followed by United Kingdom (11.10%), Switzerland (9.57%) and Japan (7.35%).
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