This week's highlights
Equity markets mostly rose last week on a strong start to the U.S. earnings season and positive economic data in both the U.S. and China. Financials had a strong week with domestic ETFs (MVB, OZF and QFN) and global fund BNKS all amongst the top performers. China and Taiwan ETFs (CETF and ITW) returned in excess of 2% for the week, while technology and industrial heavy robotics-focused funds, RBZT and ROBO also posted strong performances. VanEck Vectors China New Economy ETF (CNEW) is the top performing ETF in 2019-to-date, returning 39.1%.
Resource sector funds (OZR and QRE) as well as global gold mining funds (MNRS and GDX) lagged for the week. Global healthcare sector ETFs (IXK, DRUG and CURE) were the poorest performers on investor concerns relating to U.S. drug pricing reforms.
Total flows into domestically domiciled ETFs were $119m for the week, while outflows totalled $27m. The biggest inflows were into broad-based Australian and U.S. equity funds (STW and IVV). Fixed income funds also attracted significant attention with ILB, IAF, CRED, AAA and BNDS all seeing net asset growth. The biggest outflows for the week were from domestic cash (ISEC), leveraged domestic equities (GEAR) and Europe (IEU).
STW and AAA were the most traded funds last week, while USD and VAF saw above average volumes.
ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO) has posted a strong 24.9% total return since the start of 2019, and is now close to surpassing its September 2018 highs prior to the sell-off and market volatility in Q4 last year.