Best ETF Of 2015 Crushed To Start 2016

January 04, 2016

Stock markets were slammed on Monday as global growth worries, combined with geopolitical concerns, sent investors fleeing. The rout began in Asia, where trading in Chinese stocks were halted after the market fell by 7%, automatically triggering a circuit breaker that suspended trading for the day.

ASHR Mauled 9%

The sell-off in China shares brought back memories of 2015’s summer plunge in the country's stock market, when the Shanghai Composite Index tumbled day after day.

Analysts attributed the latest round of selling to renewed concerns about China's economy following disappointing manufacturing data. The upcoming lifting of restrictions on stock sales by large investors also weighed on the market.

The Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (ASHR | F-54) tanked by more than 9% at midday. The fund lost about 2.4% in 2015.

Even worse, the Market Vectors ChinaAMC SME-ChiNext ETF (CNXT | D-48)—the top-performing ETF of 2015, with a 41% gain—dropped nearly 11%.

1-Year Returns For ASHR, CNXT

Energy Shares Sag Despite Middle East Tensions

Meanwhile, the other big story of the day came from the Middle East, as tensions flared following the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia. The death of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr fueled fury in Iran, where protestors attacked the Saudi embassy. In turn, Saudi Arabia expelled Iranian diplomats from the country, officially cutting off diplomatic ties with its rival.

Initially, oil moved sharply higher on this latest news. But prices soon retreated as traders reasoned that the likelihood of a direct conflict between the two oil superpowers was unlikely, and that the market remains oversupplied.

Energy-linked ETFs were back on the downswing after initially opening higher.

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