2014 was characterized by another year of strong performance in the U.S., as the bull market that has been running since the depths of the financial crisis in March 2009 continued. Other areas of the world were not so lucky as a handful of emerging markets, among others, took a hit on the year. A number of international economies have either slipped into or on the brink of another recession, creating a foggy outlook for the global economy [for more ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free ETFdb Daily Roundup].
To give investors a better idea of how various countries fared in 2014, we present the best and worst performing single-country ETFs below.
The Best Performers
The two top performers, India (EPI ) and Thailand (THD ), both came off of disappointing 2013 performances, and their economies showed resilience in a nice recovery this year. Investors will note that one of the “best” performers, Belgium, actually had a loss for the year, demonstrating how tough of a year the global economy had. The U.S. brings up the middle of the pack with yet another solid year of gains as it buoys the global economy.
Clearly, Asian emerging markets were extremely active with India, Thailand, Indonesia, China, and Taiwan all turning in positive performances this year.
The Worst Performers
Russia has been gobbling up headlines in 2014 for all the wrong reasons, as tensions in Eastern Europe infected the Russian economy. Five European nations made the list of worst performers, as the region as a whole has continued to struggle. Latin America also saw its fair share of losers, contributing three countries to the worst performing list.
Below is a full list of every ETF mentioned in the above charts:
|India Earnings Fund (EPI )||24.13%|
|MSCI Thailand Capped ETF (THD )||14.29%|
|Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF (IDX )||11.62%|
|SPDR S&P 500 (SPY )||10.78%|
|iShares MSCI New Zealand Capped ETF (ENZL )||7.40%|
|iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI )||6.67%|
|Egypt Index ETF (EGPT )||6.11%|
|MSCI Denmark Capped Investable Market Index Fund (EDEN )||5.78%|
|iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF (EWT )||2.01%|
|iShares MSCI Belgium Capped ETF (EWK )||-0.56%|
|iShares MSCI Poland Capped ETF (EPOL )||-14.80%|
|iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF (EWM )||-15.19%|
|iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF (EWW )||-16.07%|
|iShares MSCI Chile Capped ETF (ECH )||-16.50%|
|iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ )||-20.06%|
|iShares MSCI Austria Capped ETF (EWO )||-21.57%|
|FTSE Norway 30 ETF (NORW )||-25.25%|
|InterBolsa FTSE Colombia 20 ETF (GXG )||-30.74%|
|FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK )||-31.34%|
|Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX )||-45.17%|
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, 2014 seems to have presented more losses than wins for nations around the world, as a majority struggle to find their footing. As we transition into the New Year, all eyes will remain on the U.S. and a few key emerging markets to lead the way.
Follow me on Twitter @JaredCummans.
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Disclosure: All data as of 12/17/2014. No positions at time of writing.