Countries In Review: May 2019

Countries In Review: May 2019

Emerging markets were hit the hardest in March.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

Country ETFs’ performance was a mixed bag during March, with few standouts. The worst performer was the iShares MSCI Turkey ETF (TUR), which was down 14.68%. However, that was a bit of an outlier, with the iShares MSCI Chile ETF (ECH) and the iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ) following distantly, with declines of 4.46% and 4.06%, respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, the iShares MSCI India ETF (INDA) led the way, with a gain of 8.87%, followed by the iShares MSCI New Zealand ETF (ENZL), up 5.57%, and the iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF (KSA), up 3.9%. Notably, KSA was the only fund in the frontier markets category to see positive returns during the month. Flows were largely unremarkable, but the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ) had significant outflows, of nearly $2 billion, far more than the $457.4 million lost by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) and the $171 million lost by the VanEck Vectors Russia ETF (RSX). The iShares MSCI Italy ETF (EWI) saw the most inflows, with a gain of $178 million, while KSA and the iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF (EWU) pulled in $127.5 million and $111.4 million, respectively.



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Index Data Source: MSCI.
ETF Return Data Source: Bloomberg.
All return data from 02/28/2019 to 03/31/2019.

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.