April was a month of economic reporting on all sides, and the majority of the market finished the month with strong returns. Disappointing ISM and labor data was seen both early and late in the month, as April saw a slowdown in the growth of new U.S. private sector jobs. Gold dominated the headlines after the precious metal tumbled over 9% mid month, marking the largest single-day drop in 30 years. The Japanese central bank announced early in the month that it would implement a number of aggressive easing measures in an attempt to double the government bond holdings over the next two years, while an economic slowdown in China sent global investors into a frenzy [for updates on all new ETFs, sign up for the free ETFdb newsletter].
After last month’s trickle of new funds, April was a rush of products into the ETF space, with 18 new funds coming to market all throughout the month. With even more issuers filing, it look like the rest of this year will see many more ETF introductions [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
New exchange-traded products that began trading in April include:
- Global X Nigeria Index ETF (NGE) and Cenral Asia & Mongolia Index ETF (AZIA): Global X was again the first to launch this month, debuting two broad international equity ETFs on April 2nd.
- SPDR Blackstone GSO Senior Loan ETF (SRLN): State Street brought out a new fund that seeks to provide current income consistent with the preservation of capital.
- Direxion Daily Brazil Bull 3x Shares (BRZU) and Daily South Korea Bull 3x Shares (KORU): Direxion has introduced two heavily levered international equity ETFs, focusing in on the large and mid market cap companies.
- FlexShares International Quality Dividend Index Fund (IQDF), International Quality Dividend Defense Index Fund (IQDE), and International Quality Dividend Dynamic Index Fund (IQDY): FlexShares also had its eyes on the international market, creating three funds along the lines of their already successful domestic dividend funds.
- Silver Shares Covered Call ETN (SLVO) : Credit Suisse was inspired by the success of one of its popular gold ETNs, and launched its silver counterpart.
- MSCI USA Momentum Fund (MTUM), MSCI USA Size Factor ETF (SIZE), MSCI USA Value Factor ETF (VLUE), Enhanced US Large-Cap ETF (IELG), and Enanced US Small-Cap ETF (IESM): iShares had a filing frenzy late in the month, launching a variety of ETFs focused on factors of the U.S. equity market one day and another round of funds within the week.
- iShares 2023 Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (IBCE), 2020 Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (IBCD), 2018 Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (IBCC), and 2016 Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (IBCB): To supplement its list of corporate bond funds, iShares introduced four new funds to the list.
Few ETFs were filed for this month, which could be attributed to the heavy tide of funds that came in January and February:
- ALPS has filed for a follow up to its popular (SDOG, B) fund, but this time with a global focus.
- USAA submitted paperwork with the SEC earlier this week announcing that this government branch is looking to get into the ETF industry.
- WisdomTree has planned a small-cap version of the popular Japan ETF, (DXJ, A-).
- Guggenheim has filed for four more BulletShares bond ETFs to add to its already extensive lineup.
- Direxion has filed for four more funds using the same international leverage strategy along the same lines of the funds introduced earlier in April.
- Van Eck is once again looking outside of the U.S., planning only the second ETF with a strong focus on Israel.
- ERNY Financial Advisors filed paperwork with the SEC at the beginning of the week looking to venture into the ETF market.
- Looking to replicate its success with (BOND, B), PIMCO has planned more funds based on its existing mutual funds
BNP Paribas was the only issuer to lose a fund this month, closing the STREAM S&P Dynamic Roll Global Commodities Fund (BNPC), which was launched only 10 months prior.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.