In the midst of the Euro-Zone financial crisis of 2010, many turned to the export-focused Germany to lead the bloc back to recovery. Carrying the torch for many European nations, Germany has been able to post strong GDP gains in the most recent quarter, making it an international bright spot. As Europe’s largest economy, Germany has caught the eye of investors seeking a play on the resurgance of the battered Euro-Zone but investing in German markets will require a close monitoring of local businesses and data that comments on their performance [see also Hardest Hit Europe ETFs From The First Half Of 2010].
Today will see the release of the German IFO Business Confidence Survey. This is a monthly survey of the climate of German firms and their expectations for the next six months, and it is considered one of the country’s key business sentiment surveys. The German economy accounts for roughly 25% of Euro-Zone GDP, making this report crucial not only for Germany, but also the 15 other nations who use the euro as their currency [see also Announcing Our Revolutionary Mutual Fund To ETF Converter Tool].
The survey uses a base line of 100 to score; below 100 is a negative outlook while above 100 is good news, the further the number is from 100, the more significant the implications. Last month, the report came in at 105.2, but is expected to drop to 104 for the month of September. While this would still be considered a positive result, many are worried that it could suggest the beginnings of a slowdown, and may have a negative effect on German markets and the euro as a whole. But, with the record pace of growth seen in the last quarter, businesses may be feeling a bit more optimistic about the coming months, which could boost the report higher than expected [see also BMW Drives Germany ETF (EWG) Sharply Higher].
In light of this major economic indicator, the iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund (EWG) will be today’s ETF to watch. This ETF measures the German equity market with major names like Siemens and Deutsche Bank appearing in the top holdings [see all of EWG's holdings here]. Focusing in on giant and large cap companies, EWG has lost 5% this year, but was able to rally for most of September. The Business Confidence survey will weigh heavily on this ETF; if the report comes in as expected or lower, it may send the fund on a sharp decline due to worries over economic stagnation. But keeping in mind that the predicted score of the survey is still a positive result, the fund may also gain during trading today, especially if the survey score is higher than anticipated [see all the ETFs that offer exposure to Germany here].
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Disclosure:No positions at time of writing.