Tuesday December 10, 2013
Emerging market equities have been a difficult equity class to hold lately, with the iShares MSCI Emerging Market Index ETF (EEM) falling over 1% over the past 52-weeks as the S&P 500 SPDR (SPY) rallied more than 25% over the same timeframe.
Those that still believe in an emerging markets recovery may want to hold the iShares MSCI Emerging Market Minimum Volatility Index ETF (EEMV) instead. Over the same 52-week time period, EEMV fell just 0.5% compared to about 1.8% for EEM. Over the past five years, the minimum volatility ETF's lead over EEM has approached 10% making it an attractive alternative.
Thursday December 5, 2013
Global clean energy stocks aren't known for their stability, but the latest uptrend appears to be fairly robust. The iShares S&P Global Clean Energy ETF (NYSE: ICLN) is trading up more than 40% over the past year and more than 50% over the past 52 weeks.
After the Great Recession in 2008, many countries opted to reduce or discontinue their solar subsidies, which caused the market to crash. Additional complications arose in the aftermath after Chinese companies began dumping photovoltaic panels creating a glut in the market.
It appears that many of these issues have been worked out in 2013 and the market appears relatively healthy moving into 2014. Demand in many developed countries is poised to continue rising, although the end of stimulus spending and low rates could produce some headwinds.
Tuesday December 3, 2013
The Global X FTSE Andean 40 Index ETF (NYSE: AND) is trading down 20% over the past 52 weeks due to lower consumption and commodity prices. For instance, Chile's central bank recently lowered its growth estimate for 2014 to between 3.75% and 4.75% while cutting interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.75% in order to lighten the drop.
For many emerging markets including the Andean region, the withdrawal of stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve is the largest overhanging risk. Low interest rates in the U.S. have helped bolster many emerging markets and a higher dollar could impact spending power abroad. External financing conditions could also tighten and put a damper on growth prospects.
Friday November 29, 2013
is expected to announce a significant uptick in its latest gross domestic product report, potentially making it larger than South Africa's economy on paper. According to some economists, the revised estimates could be between $340 and $420 billion compared to South Africa's $384 billion aggregate output last year. Nigeria's economy is also growing at a much more rapid pace, thanks to its young workforce and ever growing oil industry.
Investors looking to capitalize on Nigeria's growth may want to take a look at the Global X Nigeria Index ETF (NGE), which is trading up just under 10% over the past three months.