Best/Worst Weekly ETF Returns: EWT & EWY Shine

August 03, 2012

Two Asia-focused ETFs break through the global economic fog and rake in gains as the market grows worried about the eurozone.


Emerging market exchange-traded funds focused on Asia were among the best-performing ETFs in the week ended Thursday, Aug. 2, amid uncertainties surrounding economic growth prospects for the U.S. and Europe.

Funds like the iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWY) and the iShares MSCI Taiwan Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWT) shined through the fog, tagging on gains of 7 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. The broader iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Asia Index Fund (NYSEArca: EEMA) was another top-10 performer.

In a broad sense, the markets remained focused on what Europe will do to deal with the debt crisis that has threatened the stability of the eurozone, especially since the European central bank served up strong rhetoric last week that it would do whatever it took to protect the euro.

But an ECB meeting this week yielded little more than talk of intentions, a reticence that was also seen coming from the U.S. Federal Reserve regarding the possibility of quantitative easing measures ahead.

The lack of clear direction had the Dow Jones industrial average trading both sides of the market all week, and ending the Thursday-to-Thursday period largely unchanged, down a mere 9 points, or 0.07 percent, at 12,878.88.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY)—the largest ETF in the world, with $101.31 billion in assets—was one of the week’s worst-performing ETFs, shedding more than 5 percent of its value.

It’s worth noting that a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report for July had the Dow rallying more than 1.5 percent Friday, but IndexUniverse's weekly data tally covers a Thursday-to-Thursday period.

Another interesting note this week comes courtesy of India. As that country battled with a crippling blackout for days, the EGShares India Infrastructure ETF (NYSEArca: INXX) was one of the best-performing ETFs in the past week, gaining 4.7 percent in the period. INXX has now $51 million in assets.

On the flip side, natural gas funds were some of the week’s worst-performing strategies. The $1.2 billion United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG) bled more than 5.5 percent of its value, with some 18 million shares trading hands, on average, daily.

The Teucrium Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: NAGS) and the United States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNL) also found themselves on this week’s bottom- performers list.


Top 10 Weekly Performers, Excluding Leverage/Inverse Funds and <1,000 Shares Traded


Ticker Name Weekly Performance Weekly Volume AUM ($, mm)
NIB iPath Dow Jones-UBS Cocoa Total Return ETN 7.97% 130,869 26.26
CHOC iPath Pure Beta Cocoa ETN 7.33% 37,104 3.24
EWY iShares MSCI South Korea 6.94% 8,861,042 2,590.05
AAIT iShares MSCI All Country Asia Information Technology 5.80% 1,671 4.99
EWT iShares MSCI Taiwan 5.38% 31,884,633 2,044.97
AIA iShares S&P Asia 50 5.06% 47,082 190.76
GAZ iPath Dow Jones-UBS Natural Gas Total Return ETN 4.98% 525,752 39.80
EEMA iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Asia 4.87% 61,345 20.10
UGA United States Gasoline 4.83% 187,335 82.56
INXX EGShares India Infrastructure 4.67% 85,561 51.15

Bottom 10 Weekly Performers, Excluding Leverage/Inverse Funds and <1,000 Shares Traded

Ticker Name Weekly Performance Weekly Volume AUM ($, mm)
XLY Consumer Discretionary Select SPDR -9.73% 38,731,247 2,894.92
XBI SPDR S&P Biotech -6.42% 2,177,428 697.97
VXX iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN -6.37% 198,553,029 1,566.34
UNG United States Natural Gas -5.51% 89,058,297 1,272.13
NAGS Teucrium Natural Gas Fund -5.33% 46,508 3.53
SPY SPDR S&P 500 -5.09% 801,976,963 101,316.06
PBE PowerShares Dynamic Biotech & Genome Portfolio -5.01% 84,442 130.10
UNL United States 12 Month Natural Gas -4.93% 194,065 45.79
PSCE PowerShares S&P SmallCap Energy -4.84% 31,458 41.12
FBT First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology -4.83% 546,392 242.59

Disclaimer: All data as of 6 a.m. Eastern time the date the article is published. Data is believed to be accurate; however, transient market data is often subject to subsequent revision and correction by the exchanges.

Find your next ETF

Reset All