Jan 09, 2018
ETFS Trade idea – The Rise and Rise of Technology Technology driven advances and the pace of innovation are the defining mega trend of our era. Developments in fields such as robotics and automation are changing many industries and are having an impact on the way we work and live. Our Future Present range of exchange traded funds offers simple and intelligent ways to bring your portfolio into the 21st century by capturing growth in companies at the forefront of the technology revolution. The rise and rise of technology It has become something of a cliché, but technology really is changing the way we live and work. On buses and trains, for example, half of the passengers are likely glued to smartphones or tablets. Technological developments are certainly not confined to telecommunications; in fact, new technologies are heralding enormous changes in a very wide range of industries globally. And, in some cases, technological advances are creating entire new industries whose participants are enjoying stellar growth rates. These powerful trends are interesting from an investment perspective. After all, the premise of equity investing suggests investors allocate capital towards companies that can generate and maintain strong growth rates, which are most likely to generate favourable long-term returns for shareholders. This philosophy is a hallmark of thematic investing, whereby investors seek to benefit from exposure to a particular trend or theme. Thematic funds can be additionally appealing to investors as their performance is often uncorrelated with economic cycles and other forces that drive mainstream equity and bond markets. Accessing pioneering companies with the greatest growth potential can be easier said than done. Small and mid-cap companies at the cutting edge of innovation in emerging industry sectors are typically not well represented in traditional market cap weighted indices. Constituents of the S&P/ASX 200 Index, for example, are more mature large-cap companies, often with more modest growth rates. Accordingly, investors might be missing out on some of the brightest current investment opportunities, even if their portfolio is heavily weighted towards equities. Similarly, investors who focus primarily on the domestic market in Australia are not only missing out on the benefits of international diversification, but are likely to also be overweight sectors such as Financials and Materials. Significantly, they are also likely to be very underweight sectors such as Information Technology and Heath Care, which are major sources of growth and innovation. In recognition of this – and reflecting our desire to offer investors fresh, innovative and value-adding investment options from across the globe – ETF Securities has launched the Future Present range. This range of funds enables investors to access some of the most appealing investment niches currently available, conveniently and cost-effectively through an exchange traded fund (ETF) vehicle. Accessing a new world of investment opportunities The Future Present range has been designed to track the growth of new and innovative sectors that have historically been challenging for investors to access. Investing in the Future Present range of funds enables investors to participate in the growth arising from long-term structural shifts that are underway in various industries. The Future Present range was launched in 2017 with the only ETF in Australia offering exposure to the global technology sector – ETFS Morningstar Global Technology ETF (ASX code: TECH). Technology has been a major source of global growth in recent years. Since 1995, earnings across the technology sector have increased more than 500%, nearly double the wider market. This translates into an annual compounded growth rate of 8.5% per annum compared to 5% for the market. In 2017 technology was clearly the leading performing sector, averaging a total return of close to 40% on a market capitalization-weighted basis(1). In designing TECH, ETF Securities partnered with Morningstar, whose expertise as a leader in equity research provides insight used to identify the leading technology companies across the globe, based on rigorous analysis of the strength and sustainability of their competitive advantages. Furthermore Morningstar’s valuation models ensure that only firms trading at attractive valuations relative to peers are selected for the fund. Whilst mega-caps such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon dominate, there is innovation and value to be found across the sector. From artificial intelligence to cyber-security, e-commerce and cloud infrastructure technology firms are growing and diversifying in many different directions. As such, companies are equally weighted within the fund to capture growth in small- and mid-cap companies that emerge as leading players in their field. The Future Present range has since expanded to include Australia’s first robotics, automation and artificial intelligence ETF – ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ASX code: ROBO). Companies are increasingly investing in automation as they seek to improve productivity; reducing production costs and, in turn, increasing profitability. Already generating more than $200 billion annually, sales in the robotics and automation sectors are tipped to increase more than five-fold over the next decade. (2) Currently, more than two thirds of industrial robots are employed in the automotive, electronics and metal industries(3) , but their use is likely to become more widespread as artificial intelligence systems develop further. Improvements in image and voice recognition, for example, as well as increasing usability of machine vision technology will enable robots to perform ever more complex tasks, widening their application and seeing them penetrate other industries. For ROBO, ETF Securities has partnered with ROBO Global, pioneers in robotics and automation investing and the developers of the benchmark industry classification system for the sector. ROBO Global’s expertise lies in their ability to identify companies that are best-placed to benefit from the structural changes underway. Which have competitive advantages that are likely to persist through time? Which are most profitable and likely to generate the strongest long-term returns for shareholders? Benefiting from ETF Securities’ heritage as Australia’s second oldest provider of exchange traded products, combined with the specialist expertise of our research partners, the Future Present range provides investors with a unique opportunity to invest in mega trends that are occurring all around us. We look forward to expanding the Future Present product range in 2018 and beyond. (1) Source: Bloomberg data as at 11 January 2018. (2) Business Insider Intelligence, Cyber Security Report, Apr 2016 (3) Source: International Federation of Robotics 2016
Jan 09, 2018
Risk assets continued to perform in the first week of 2018, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.9%, the S&P 500 up 2.6%, while the EURO STOXX 50 rose 3.0% and the Nikkei 225 appreciated by 4.2%. Growth ETFs were the top performers for the week with ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO) returning 4.3% and emerging market and Asia Pacific ETFs (IBK and UBP) also performing strongly. The real estate sector provided the poorest performing, non-leveraged funds for the week (DJRE and RENT). The Australian dollar continued its month-long rally, gaining 0.7% to breach US 78.5c for the first time since October. Precious metals also performed strongly last week, with gold up 1.3%. ETFS Physical Platinum was the top performing commodity fund for the week, returning 3.9%. The broad Bloomberg Commodity Index declined 0.3%. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$55m and outflows of A$28m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. The largest inflows were into BetaShares FTSE RAFI Australia 200 ETF (QOZ), while the largest outflows were from SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Financials ex A-REITS Fund (OZF).
Dec 15, 2017
In the final ETFS Weekly Market Monitor for 2017 we look back at the best and worst performers for the year-to-date. Non-Japan Asia was the standout segment within equity markets, with UBP, IKO and IAA all returning in excess of 30% so far this year. The poorest performers included a range of bearish products (BBUS and BBOZ), which underperformed in a strong risk-on environment. Within the domestic equity space, small- and mid-cap funds outperformed, with MVE and SSO being the top performers, while HVST was the poorest performer. High yield plays provided the best returns in the fixed income arena, with IHEB returning 9.9%, followed by IHYY, which returned 6.4%. Within currency funds, euro (EEU) has been the best performer in 2017 returning 5.1%, while US dollar (USD and ZUSD) lagged, down over 5%. Palladium was the top commodity performer, with ETPMPD returning 43.3%. Agriculture was the poorest performing sector, with QAG declining 13.4%. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$95m and outflows of A$27m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. The largest inflows were into ETFS EURO STOXX 50 ETF (ESTX), while the largest outflows were from BetaShares Australian Dividend Harvester Funds (HVST).
Dec 08, 2017
The risk-off theme continued into last week with uncertainty around the US government debt ceiling negotiations, Hurricane Irma and North Korea. The S&P/ASX 200 declined by 0.9% last week, the S&P 500 lost 0.6% and the Nikkei 225 dropped 2.1%, while the EURO STOXX 50 posted a modest gain. Domestic resource sector ETFs (MVR and QRE) were the top performing equity funds for the week. The US dollar weakened against most major currencies, with US Treasury yields registering their lowest levels for the year-to-date. The Australian dollar gained over 1%, ending the week at US80.6c. The euro gained 1.5% and the yen jumped 2.2% against the US dollar. Precious metals made strong gains last week, with gold up 1.6% and silver up 1.4%. ETFS Physical Silver (ETPMAG) was the top performing fund for the week, returning 2.9%. WTI Crude posted its first positive week since July, while Iron ore declined by 5.8%. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$71m and outflows of A$12m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. Inflows were mainly into cash and fixed income funds (AAA and QPON), while outflows were from BetaShares Australian Dividend Harvester Fund (HVST).
Dec 07, 2017
Global equities performance was mixed. The S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.3%. The S&P 500 rose 0.1%, while the EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.6%. Agricultural and Resources ETFs (QAG and YANK) were the top performing equity funds for the week, while gold miners (GDX and MNRS) were amongst the poorest performers. The Australian dollar was down against other major currencies, weakened to US 76c after RBA kept interest rates unchanged and did not signal for a rate hike. The euro slightly dropped 0.2% against the US dollar. Global bonds yields climbed after a better-than-expected US jobs report offered support to the Federal Reserve's plan to raise interest rates, US 10 year Treasury yields up 0.08%. Australian 10 year government bond yields up 0.13%. Broad sell-off in commodities. Gold price fell 2.1% to US$1,216 an ounce on the propsect of another rate rise in the US. WTI crude price dropped 3.9% on the increased US production, iron ore price slipped 3.3%. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$171m and outflows of A$18m from domestically domiciled ETFs.
Dec 06, 2017
Most major markets advanced last week as a risk-on tone returned. The S&P/ASX 200 ended the week up 0.5%, the S&P 500 gained 1.2%, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.2% and the Nikkei 225 added 1.6%. Asia and emerging markets returned to favour with four ETFs (IZZ, IBK, UBP and IAA) amongst the top performers for the week. The US dollar strengthened against most major currencies last week. The Australian dollar dropped below US 78c for the first time since July. The euro declined by 0.7%, while pound sterling fell by 2.5% as Brexit concerns and political uncertainty intensified. Precious metals were mixed last week, with gold declining 0.2% despite a rally towards the end of the week. WTI crude dropped back below US$50/bbl, while iron ore stabilised following sharp declines in September. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$52m and outflows of A$11m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. The largest inflows were into iShares S&P/ASX 200 ETF (IOZ) and a range of international equity funds (NDQ, ESTX, BNKS and ROBO).