Worst Performing Single Country ETFs

August 14, 2018

SPDR MSCI China A Shares IMI ETF (XINA): Down 20.6%

While Turkey may have overshadowed it during the past week, for most of 2018, another country has dominated the headlines: China. The country is at the center of the biggest economic conflict of the year, the trade war between the U.S. and China.

President Trump has railed against China, claiming the Asia giant is not playing fair when it comes to trade. His weapon of choice has been tariffs, which he is using to pressure China into changing its ways.

So far, China isn’t giving in. After the U.S. placed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, China fired back with tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods. Trump has threatened to retaliate with even more tariffs, possibly covering all Chinese imports into the U.S.

While damaging to both countries, so far, its China’s market that is feeling the brunt of the growing, tit-for-tat trade war. The SPDR MSCI China A Shares IMI ETF (XINA) and other ETFs targeting mainland China stocks are down to the lowest levels since 2016, sharply underperforming U.S. stocks, which are close to all-time highs.

No one knows how or when the China-U.S. trade war will end, but for investors in China ETFs, that end can’t come soon enough.

First Trust Brazil AlphaDEX Fund (FBZ): Down 15.7%

There are plenty of reasons you could point to as to why Brazil stocks are down this year, not the least of which is the fact that they nearly tripled in value between January 2016 and January 2018. After a run like that, the 15.7% decline for the First Trust Brazil AlphaDEX Fund (FBZ) doesn’t seem all that significant.

Still, like many emerging markets, Brazil is grappling with a crisis of confidence. Investors are jittery ahead of important elections in October, where far-left, far-right and centrist candidates are all seen as having relatively equal chances of victory.

In addition to the election factor, similar to its emerging market peers, Brazil is facing a spiraling currency and weighty deficits.

For a full list of this year’s worst-performing single-country ETFs, see the table below:


Worst-Performing Single-Country ETFs Of 2018

Ticker Fund YTD Return (%)
TUR  iShares MSCI Turkey ETF -54.48
ARGT  Global X MSCI Argentina ETF -22.54
AGT iShares MSCI Argentina and Global Exposure ETF -22.27
EZA  iShares MSCI South Africa ETF -20.93
XINA SPDR MSCI China A Shares IMI ETF -20.57
PEK  VanEck Vectors ChinaAMC CSI 300 ETF -19.83
ASHR  Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF -19.72
ASHX  Xtrackers MSCI China A Inclusion Equity ETF -19.34
KBA  KraneShares Bosera MSCI China A Share ETF -18.93
CNHX  CSOP MSCI China A International Hedged ETF -18.62
CNYA  iShares MSCI China A ETF -18.58
EIDO  iShares MSCI Indonesia ETF -18.25
HAHA  CSOP China CSI 300 A-H Dynamic ETF -17.92
EPHE  iShares MSCI Philippines ETF -17.90
IDX VanEck Vectors Indonesia Index ETF -16.75
FKO  First Trust South Korea AlphaDEX Fund -16.57
GREK  Global X MSCI Greece ETF -16.54
PLND  VanEck Vectors Poland ETF -16.41
FBZ  First Trust Brazil AlphaDEX Fund -15.79
FLKR Franklin FTSE South Korea ETF  -15.71

Note: Data measures total returns for the year-to-date period through Aug. 13

Editors note: Table updated to reflect end-of-day closing values.

Email Sumit Roy at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter sumitroy2

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