August was a mostly positive month for country ETFs, especially in Latin America, with the Global X MSCI Argentina ETF (ARGT) blowing all other funds out of the water with a 17.18% return. The country represents South America’s second-largest economy, and its market was boosted by positive developments around the nation’s debt, recovering foreign reserves and improving COVID-19 numbers, among other factors. The second-best performer during the month was the Global X MSCI Colombia ETF (GXG), up 9.36%.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Global X MSCI Nigeria ETF (NGE) was the worst performer, down 4.46% during the month, which it kicked off with a weeklong decline that hit the market’s blue chips hard. The market was no doubt further hampered by reports of spikes in positive COVID-19 tests and fears the country was unprepared to deal with the delta variant of the virus.
The iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ) was the second-worst performer, down 2.67%, and the sole Latin American market to see a decline during the month. In the months preceding August, the country was hit by multiple frost events, damaging production of sugar, coffee and corn, while midmonth saw President Bolsonaro casting doubt on the integrity of the country’s electoral system.
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Note: This list intends to capture the returns of most liquid ETFs tracking individual countries around the world. It does not capture every country in the MSCI All Country World Index.