The coronavirus took global markets into its grip in the first quarter and caused a bloodbath in various global bourses. At the time of writing, there were more than 7,85,000 infected people, out of which more than 621,000 are outside the United States,
per worldometer, with Italy being the most affected in terms of death toll. Recessionary fears are rife and economic losses were huge in the quarter.
The S&P 500 lost 18.7% in the first quarter, while all-world
iShares MSCI ACWI ETF ( ACWI Quick Quote ACWI - Free Report) retreated about 20.5%. Investors should note that Vanguard FTSE Europe Index Fund ETF Shares ( VGK Quick Quote VGK - Free Report) nosedived 26.1% in the quarter. Asia ETF iShares Asia 50 ETF ( AIA Quick Quote AIA - Free Report) was down 15.2%. iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF ( EEM Quick Quote EEM - Free Report) was off 24.5%, First Trust Latin America AlphaDEX Fund ( FLN Quick Quote FLN - Free Report) slumped 45.9% and iShares China Large-Cap ETF ( FXI Quick Quote FXI - Free Report) lost 14.3%.
Against this backdrop, we highlight a few international ETFs that outperformed the S&P 500 in Q1. Investors should note that many China ETFs actually topped the key U.S. equity gauge in the quarter despite being the epicentre of the virus. In this regard, we mention the best-performing China-based product and also some broader international funds below (read:
What Coronavirus? These China ETFs Gained Past Month). ETFs in Focus KraneShares MSCI All China Health Care Index ETF ( KURE Quick Quote KURE - Free Report) — Up 3.7%
The $32.1-million fund tracks the MSCI China All Shares Health Care 10/40 Index, which is a free float adjusted market capitalization weighted index designed to track the equity market performance of Chinese companies engaged in the health care sector. It is needless to say, such a virus attack will boost demand for vaccines, medicines and equipment. No wonder, the disease gave more business to healthcare providers of China.
First Trust Dow Jones International Internet ETF (— Down 8.6% FDNI Quick Quote FDNI - Free Report)
The underlying Dow Jones International Internet Index is a float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index designed to measure the performance of the 40 largest and most actively traded non-U.S. international companies in the Internet industry that are engaged in Internet commerce and Internet services. The $6.6-million fund charges 65 bps in fees.
First Trust International Equity Opportunities ETF (— Down 9.2% FPXI Quick Quote FPXI - Free Report)
The underlying IPOX International Index is a rules-based market-cap weighted index that measures the performance of the 50 largest and typically most liquid companies that are domiciled outside the United States within the IPOX Global Composite Index. The $52.5-million fund charges 70 bps in fees.
iShares Edge MSCI Intl Momentum Factor ETF ( IMTM Quick Quote IMTM - Free Report) — Down 14.2%
The $233-million fund follows the MSCI World ex USA Momentum Index, which consists of stocks exhibiting relatively higher momentum characteristics than the traditional market capitalization-weighted parent index, the MSCI World ex USA Index. Japan, Switzerland and France have double-digit exposure to the fund.
iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol EAFE ETF ( EFAV Quick Quote EFAV - Free Report) — Down 15.7%
The underlying MSCI EAFE Minimum Volatility (USD) Index measures the performance of international equity securities that have lower absolute volatility. Japan (30.74%) has the highest weight in the $10.42-billion-fund, followed by Switzerland (14.1%) and United Kingdom (10.86%).
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