December was a strong month for country ETFs, with only a few exhibiting negative performance. The iShares MSCI Mexico ETF (EWW) led the way, with a return of 13.26% for the month, as Mexico’s stock market saw its best year in terms of performance since 2009. It was followed by the iShares MSCI Ireland ETF (EIRL) and the Global X MSCI Argentina ETF (ARGT), up 8.97% and 8.38%, respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, the iShares MSCI Chile ETF (ECH) was down more than any other country ETF, with a return of -5.73%, largely due to the election of leftist Gabriel Boric as president. That was followed by the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI), down 3.11% and the Global X MSCI Nigeria ETF (NGE), which dropped by 1.74%. Meanwhile, flows were extremely lopsided, with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) pulling in a stunning $23.6 billion in assets, the iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ) gaining $447.6 million and FXI adding just $145.9 million. In terms of outflows, the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ) lost $478.2 million, the iShares MSCI South Korea ETF (EWY) saw outflows of $192.1 million and the VanEck Russia ETF (RSX) decreased by $72.6 million.
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Note: This list intends to capture the returns of some of the most liquid ETFs tracking individual countries around the world. It does not capture every country in the MSCI All Country World Index.