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Impressive Exports Data Put China ETFs in Focus

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China’s export and import data for October has cheered investors. Falling for the third consecutive month, the worst run since 2016, Chinese exports declined 0.9% year over year in October against analysts’ expectations of a fall of 3.9%, per a Reuters’ poll. The metric also compares favorably with September’s 3.2% slump. Per a Wall Street Journal’s report, China witnessed improved export levels to emerging markets and the European Union  (read: ETFs in Focus as China's GDP Nears 30-Year Low Level).

Meanwhile, China’s import levels in October declined for the sixth straight month by 6.4% year over year in comparison to analysts’ expectations of an 8.9% year-over-year decline. The metric also compares favorably with September’s 8.5% fall. Thus, China  reported  a trade surplus of $42.81 billion in October against analysts’ projections of a surplus of $40.83 billion.

What’s Causing the Slump?

Trade war tensions with the United States have been quite damaging for China’s economy. Notably, China’s exports to the United States fell 11.3% year over year to $347.8 billion in the January-October 2019 period. Moreover, Chinese imports from the United States contracted 25.4% year over year for the same period to $100 billion. Also, China’s trade surplus with the United States was $26.42 billion in October against $25.88 billion in September.

Weakening domestic market due to softening consumption, disappointing investment levels and unsatisfactory global commodity prices have been hurting China’s import levels. Moreover, the country witnessed a drop in imports of iron ore and copper. 

Is There Any Silver Lining?

China’s commerce ministry, represented by Gao Feng, recently expressed both countries' readiness to roll back the tariffs in phases. However, the Chinese government body did not specify any timeline. Moreover, it is being speculated that Beijing is contemplating the removal of restrictions on U.S. poultry imports. Also, the buzz is that United States might scrap the scheduled Dec 15 tariffs on around $156 billion worth of Chinese imports, covering cell phones, laptop computers and toys. However, analysts are of the opinion that any trade deal between the world’s largest economies might not be beneficial for Beijing on an immediate basis (read: Phase 1 Trade Deal or Not: ETFs to Ride the Trend).

Meanwhile, China’s central bank is taking measures to boost credit. Recently, the People’s Bank of China slashed the interest rate on its one-year medium-term lending facility loans for the first time since early 2016.

ETFs in Focus

Against this backdrop, investors can keep a tab on a few China ETFs like iShares China Large-Cap ETF FXIiShares MSCI China ETF MCHIXtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (ASHR - Free Report) and Invesco Golden Dragon China ETF PGJ.


This fund seeks long-term growth by tracking the investment returns, before fees and expenses, of the FTSE China 50 Index. It comprises 50 holdings. The fund’s AUM is $4.60 billion and expense ratio is 0.74% (read: ETFs in Focus as US Imposes New Tariffs on Structural Steel).


This fund tracks the MSCI China Index. It comprises 461 holdings. The fund’s AUM is $4.09 billion and expense ratio is 0.59% (read: China's Factory Activity Data Disappoints Again: ETFs in Focus).


This fund tracks the CSI 300 Index. It comprises 301 holdings. The fund’s AUM is $1.77 billion and expense ratio is 0.65% (read: Should You Buy China ETFs Now?).


This fund follows the NASDAQ Golden Dragon China Index, which offers exposure to the U.S. exchange-listed companies that are headquartered or incorporated in the People’s Republic of China. It holds a basket of 66 stocks. The product has AUM of $192 million and charges 70 bps in annual fees (read: Dump Slowdown Fear, Bet on These China ETFs).

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