Countries In Review: October 2019

In a grim month, only two country ETFs saw positive returns.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

August was a dismal month for country ETFs, with all but two ending up in negative territory. Far and away the worst performer was the Global X MSCI Argentina ETF (ARGT), which was down a breathtaking 30.39% for the month; it was trailed distantly by the iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ), down 9.15%; and the iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (EZA), down 9.01%. The three best performers were the iShares MSCI Egypt ETF (EGPT), up 9.56%; the iShares MSCI Denmark ETF (EDEN), up 0.35%; and the iShares MSCI Switzerland ETF (EWL), down 0.05%. Flows were almost as distorted. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) lost a whopping $10.5 billion during the month. Trailing far behind in the No. 2 spot for outflows was the iShares China Large- Cap ETF (FXI), with a loss of just $565.9 million; and the iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF (EWH) claiming the No. 3 spot, with a loss of $415.7 million. The iShares MSCI France ETF (EWQ) had the most inflows, gaining just $46.2 million; the iShares MSCI Switzerland ETF (EWL) gaining $13.5 million; and the Global X MSCI Pakistan ETF (PAK) gaining just $2.9 million.



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Index Data Source: MSCI.
Sources: Bloomberg and FactSet.
Data from 07/31/2019 to 08/31/2019.

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.


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.