To help investors keep up with the markets, we present our ETF Scorecard. The Scorecard takes a step back and looks at how various asset classes across the globe are performing. The weekly performance is from last Friday’s open to this week’s Thursday close.
- Markets were all slightly up this week.
- U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May strongly suggested her government will focus on immigration in the upcoming negotiations with the EU, and business interests – such as financial services – will take the back seat.
- A flurry of U.K. data last Friday painted a slightly brighter economic picture than forecasted. The GDP, for example, stood at 0.7% for the second quarter, beating estimates of 0.6%.
- Annual inflation in Europe was 0.4% in September, still way below the European Central Bank’s target of 2%.
- U.K. Manufacturing Index (PMI) rose to 55.4 in September, from 53.4 last month.
- In the U.S., the Purchasing Manufacturing Index was also in expansion mode – 51.5 in September, against 52 in August.
- Britain’s services and construction indexes expanded last month to 52.6 and 52.3, respectively.
- Crude Oil Inventories in the U.S. has dropped for five consecutive weeks – down 3 million barrels in the last week alone.
- Unemployment claims in the U.S. stood at 249,000 for the week, below consensus of 256,000.
- The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate rose from 4.9% to 5%.
Risk Appetite Review
- The broad market was generally flat, as the S&P 500 ETF (SPY ) rose a mere 0.06%.
- The Low Volatility ETF (SPLV ), however, posted the worst performance, dropping 2.17%.
- The High Beta ETF (SPHB ) rose 2.33%, signaling investors’ appetite for riskier assets.
Major Index Review
- All major indexes have risen this week on good economic data.
- Emerging Markets (EEM ) has advanced 1.08% this week, representing the best performance of the bunch, as yield-hungry investors piled on countries such as Brazil and Argentina, delighted by an improving political landscape and a recovery in commodity prices.
- For the rolling month, PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ ) has outperformed other assets, posting a 1.23% rise.
- The smallest advance was registered by the S&P 500 (SPY ), which rose just 0.06% this week.
- For the rolling month, Dow Jones (DIA ) has again posted the worst performance, dropping 1.40%.
Foreign Equity Review
- Foreign ETFs were mixed for the week.
- Brazil (EWZ ) has been regaining its trust with investors, soaring 3.57% in the past week. The market cheered the news that recently impeached Dilma Rousseff and her party failed to garner enough support in the municipal elections, paving the way for a new more market-friendly government. This weekly advance helped Brazilian stocks beat other foreign equity ETFs for the rolling month, up 2.57%.
- Unsurprisingly, Britain (EWU ) posted the worst performance this week, tumbling 0.57%, after its Prime Minister, Theresa May, said she will put immigration issue high on the agenda, to the detriment of the business interests of City’s financial institutions. Britain’s equities were also the worst performers for the rolling month, sliding 2.84%.
- Commodities posted mixed performance.
- Oil (USO ) has increased 4.92% this week, helped by sliding stockpiles in the U.S. and a supply cut deal recently announced by the OPEC. Oil was the best performer for the rolling month as well, with a 12.73% gain.
- Silver (SLV ) had the worst performance for the week and the rolling month, tumbling 11.85% and 11.90%, respectively, on better economic data and improving chances of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year.
- Currencies were all down this week, except for the U.S. dollar.
- The U.S. dollar (UUP ) has been the single riser among its peers, advancing 1.30% this week. Improving economic data has bolstered bets of a Federal Reserve hike this year. The dollar was also the only riser for the rolling month, up 1.13%.
- There is no doubt about which currency performed the worst this week and for the rolling month. The British pound has fallen 2.90%, and is down a staggering 5.57% for the last 30 days, as Theresa May’s government signaled it will turn to protectionist and isolationist policies in the years ahead.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.