Countries In Review: February 2019

Nigeria and Mexico outperformed during a bleak month.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

December was a bleak month for country ETFs, with only eight out of nearly 50 country funds landing in positive territory. The top performer was the Global X MSCI Nigeria ETF (NGE), which was up 4.65%. It was followed by the iShares MSCI Mexico ETF (EWW) and the iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF (KSA), up 3.11% and 1.9%, respectively. The hardest hit fund was the Global X MSCI Pakistan ETF (PAK), down 12.2%, while the iShares MSCI Israel ETF (EIS) was down 10.37% and the iShares MSCI Austria ETF (EWO) was down 10%. The flows were a bit less disastrous, with the iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ) gaining $571 million. It was followed by the iShares MSCI South Korea ETF (EWY), which pulled in $444.7 million and the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI), which gained $136.5 million. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) had the most outflows of the country funds, losing $1.2 billion, followed by the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ), which lost $337.4 million and the iShares MSCI Canada ETF (EWC), which lost $80.2 million.



For a larger view, please click on the image above.


Index Data Source: MSCI.
ETF Return Data Source: Bloomberg.
All return data from 12/31/2018 - 1/31/2019

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. Also, as indicated by the design above, frontier market countries are not included in the MSCI All Country World Index.

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.