Investors continued to keep their focus on the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations last week despite some expected, yet rather surprising, news from the Fed. On Wednesday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, delivered his commentary after the central bank’s latest policy announcement. As was expected, the Fed extended its bond-buying program in an effort to boost the jobs and the economic recovery. Though the central bank stressed that they are by no means putting monetary policy on “auto-pilot,” they did set a 6.5% threshold for the unemployment rate. Bernanke also brought attention to the looming fiscal cliff, stating that it is already “clearly” affecting the economy. Putting pressure on Congress, he stated “I don’t think the Federal Reserve has tools to offset the effect… We’d have to temper the expectations of what we can accomplish.” This week, investors will once again see a number of economic reports from around the world. Below, we outline three ETFs that should see a fair amount of activity during the week ahead [see also 7 Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolio]:
1. MSCI New Zealand Investable Market Index Fund (ENZL)
Why ENZL Will Be in Focus: This ETF, which launched in late 2010, is designed to reflect the performance of the New Zealand equity market, making it the only exchange-traded product of its kind. The fund invests in only 25 individual securities, with a heavy tilt towards communications, industrials, and basic materials stocks. ENZL’s focus will come on Wednesday as the nation releases GDP results from its most recent quarter. Analysts are expecting a slight contraction, with third quarter GDP coming in at 0.5%, slightly less then the previous recording of 0.6% [see also 17 ETFs For Day Traders].
2. MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ)
Why EWJ Will Be In Focus: This fund is designed to measure the performance of the Japanese equity market, and it is home to over $4.1 billion in total assets. It will be important to keep a close eye on EWJ on Tuesday as the Bank of Japan is slated to announce its rate decision. Any statements made by the central bank at its press conference will be closely watched, and any surprises could put EWJ in for a volatile trading session.
3. MSCI Canada Index Fund (EWC)
Why EWC Will Be In Focus: With over $4.7 billion in total assets under management, this ETF is by far the most popular option for investors looking to add exposure to the Canadian equities market. Its focus will come at the end of this week as Canada’s month-to-month GDP figures are released. Analysts expect the nation’s economy to have expanded slightly by 0.1% in October, compared to the previous recording of an unchanged GDP in September [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.