Now that we have the first full trading week of the year under our belt, let the speculation begin about how 2012 will turn out. Some feel that last year was a minor bump in an otherwise prosperous path, while others feel that this year has the potential to be even worse than 2011. One thing is for certain, the ETF industry will continue its growth and offer some of the most inventive and simplistic ways to gain exposure to your favorite asset classes. With a tumultuous end to last year, 2012 hit the ground running, as we already have a busy week lined up. Below, we outline three funds to watch as this week unfolds [see also Three ETFs Crushed By BAC’s 2011 Freefall].
Aluminum ETF (ALUM)
Why ALUM Will Be In Focus: This young fund from Global X, seeks to replicate an index which tracks the performance of the largest and most liquid listed companies that are active in some aspect of the aluminum industry. Top holdings of the fund include names like Rio Tinto (RIO), but more importantly for this week, Alcoa (AA). Today will see the earnings announcement from the heavy hitting aluminum firm, and the outlook isn’t good. Alcoa is predicted to report EPS of 0.01 with revenues of about $5.8 billion. It is important to note that the company missed its last estimate by over 30%, putting extra pressure on today’s release. With Alcoa accounting for over 9% of ALUM, the ETF will be in the limelight for the majority of the week as it reacts to this important data [see also 12 High-Yielding Commodities For 2012].
CurrencyShares Euro Currency Trust (FXE)
Why FXE Will Be In Focus: This ETF has been in the spotlight for several weeks given that it tracks the EUR/USD exchange rate. Recently, the aforementioned rate has been sitting at lows not seen for some time and there doesn’t appear to be any short term relief for the battered currency. This week will see a number of key data releases from Europe, including the ECB’s rate decision and a number of figures from Germany, arguably the most important economy to utilize the euro. Aside from the specific data, FXE is a good fund to watch given that it moves rapidly depending on the news from overseas [see also Euro Free Europe Portfolio Now Available].
FTSE China 25 Index Fund (FXI)
Why FXI Will Be In Focus: China, the world’s most populated nation, is also a staple emerging market. Though 2011 was not particularly strong for equities tracking this country, many still have faith in the strength of China. FXI tracks the broad equity markets of the nation and will be in focus this week amid several key data releases. China will release CPI, GDP, and yuan loans figures through out the week, making FXI and important fund to watch day in and day out. Though the fund lost almost 20% last year, 2012 has gotten off to a strong start, but its short term performance will greatly hinge on the next few days [see also Tax Loss Harvesting With ETFs: 6 Ideas To Lower Client Liabilities].
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.