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EMT

The timing of perhaps the most significant policy shift in China’s recent history was interesting for a number of reasons. Beijing’s announcement that the Chinese currency would be afforded increased flexibility came in the middle of the weekend, just days ahead of a G-20 summit in Toronto at which China’s currency policy was expected to be a central issue. And the news came after speculators had all but given up on a yuan appreciation. At the beginning of the year, currency derivatives markets markets had been pricing in about a 3% increase in the value of the yuan relative to the dollar over the next 12 months; recently the expectations had declined to about 1%, reflecting perceived stubbornness from Beijing on its currency policy. [click to continue…]

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As most investors are well aware, some sectors of the global economy tend to carry more risk and exhibit more volatility than others. At one end of the spectrum are utilities and consumer staples, two industries that tend to weather downturns relatively well but lag behind riskier sectors during bull markets. At the other end are those corners of the market that tend to lead the way both higher and lower in trending markets: high beta sectors that generally show greater volatility (see Three High Beta ETFs). [click to continue…]

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After a stellar start to the year, global equity markets hit a rocky stretch after a closer look at Europe’s fiscal health uncovered cause for significant anxiety. Although equities have recovered somewhat from their recent plunge, pessimism runs rampant on Wall Street as the bears are coming out of the woodwork. The confidence that investors […]

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Before it attracted intense scrutiny from the international community for its ongoing blockade of Gaza, Israel had made headlines last month for a relatively rare economic achievement. The country was recently upgraded from an emerging market to a developed market by index provider MSCI Barra, meaning that Israeli equities were cast out of the MSCI […]

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This week brought more ups and downs to uphold the uncertainty of what investors are calling “Grim May.” An up-and-down week ended on a negative note, with a downgrade of Spain increasing investor anxiety over the spread of the debt crisis beyond Greece. This week features the close of a tumultuous month for markets all […]

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Since the S&P 500 hit a 2010 high on April 23, global equity markets have battered by a wave of risk aversion that has sent many broad indexes down as much as 20%. The recent sell-off has impacted nearly every corner of the global economy; virtually every country and sector are in the red over […]

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The speed with which the ETF industry has expanded has been a hot topic lately, with some analysts anticipating a wave of consolidation at some point this year as issuers pull the plug on products that have failed to gain traction. While there have certainly been a number of ill-conceived product ideas in recent years […]

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By all accounts, the economic recovery that began in March 2009 and continued through the first four months of 2010 seemed to be on relatively solid footing. Earnings season in the U.S. got off to a relatively strong start, unemployment rates seemed poised to pull back, and the reluctant agreement of the (relatively) wealthy European […]

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First Trust, the ETF issuer best known for its line of quant-based AlphaDEX funds, introduced two new ETFs last week that tap into an increasingly popular investment strategy. The First Trust ISE Global Platinum Index Fund (PLTM) and First Trust ISE Global Copper Index Fund (CU) join a number of other ETFs focused on mining […]

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Emerging markets ETFs represent the crossroads of two of the hottest investment trends of recent years. As the U.S., Japan, and developed European economies struggled to pull out of recessions and avoid a double dip, the world’s emerging economies raced ahead, led by the BRIC bloc of nations. According to the International Monetary Fund, the […]

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Over the past six months, New York-based Global X has introduced a line of sector-specific China ETFs, many of which have already seen impressive cash inflows and daily trading volumes. Now the upstart ETF issuer is turning its attention to commodities, filing for approval on four funds tracking indexes composed of mining stocks. The ETFs […]

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Last year saw more than 100 new product launches, ranging from plain vanilla equity and bond funds to ETFs offering exposure to exotic new investment strategies and asset classes previously available only to a limited slice of the investing community. The innovation that has made ETFs a popular alternative to mutual funds seems ready to […]

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