Resources

Clean energy in your clients’ portfolios

Jun 10, 2020

Battery technology investments could be the answer for clients with an interest in the environment and a desire to incorporate this within their portfolios. Renewable energy and electric cars are set to take over fossil fuels as a source of energy in coming decades, but to do so, battery technology and storage will be critical. Renewables and battery technology Renewable energy, namely solar and wind power, are intermittent power sources. To rely on these is to require reliable energy storage in the form of batteries. Likewise, electric cars are completely dependent on battery storage to operate. The South Australian Hornsdale Power Reserve is the largest example in the world of battery storage for renewable energy, making Australia one of the leaders (surprisingly, given our coal industry) in transformation. Wind and solar energy are forecast to supply around 48% of world electricity needs by 2050, with battery technology, gas peakers (turbines or engines that burn natural gas) and dynamic demand anticipated to drive market penetration of solar and wind by more than 80% according to BloombergNEF[1] . To accommodate this growth, utility scale battery energy storage capacity is expected to more than double by 2022, while the market for battery technology is anticipated to reach $90bn by 2025, growing more than 12%[2][3] . How to invest in battery technology? The value chain for battery technology ranges from mining companies, mining for metals like lithium, to manufacturers of battery storage and storage technology providers. All are potential beneficiaries of the anticipated growth in this industry. There are a range of ways to access battery technology in your clients’ portfolios. Direct shares in value chain component companies with the bulk of their revenue related to this area, such as mining companies like Pilbara Minerals or battery manufacturers. Direct shares in broader companies which still include exposure to battery technology, such as Panasonic. Managed funds, either active options or ETFs such as ETFS Battery Tech & Lithium ETF (ASX code: ACDC) which offer exposure across the industry. For more information about ETFS Battery Tech & Lithium ETF (ASX code: ACDC) or investing in battery technology for your clients, please contact us. Sales Trading Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: sales@etfsecurities.com.au Phone +61 2 8311 3483 Email: primarymarkets@etfsecurities.com.au This document is communicated by ETFS Management (AUS) Limited (Australian Financial Services Licence Number 466778) (“ETFS”). This document may not be reproduced, distributed or published [1] https://about.bnef.com/new-energy-outlook/ [2] www.forbes.com/sites/mergermarket/2020/02/18/the-future-of-battery-energy-storage-is-upon-us/#d5b173d4a185/ [3] www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/global-battery-market-industry/

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Weekly ETF Monitor for week ending 29 May 2020

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Jun 02, 2020

This week's highlights Hopes of economic re-opening extended to optimism for the financial sector last week. Australian bank ETFs were the clear top performers, with MVB, OZF and QFN all registering double digit returns for the week. High yield domestic equity funds also benefited from the bank rally, with SYI, RDV and active fund EINC all amongst the top performers. Gold miners (GDX and MNRS), biotechnology (CURE) and big-tech (FANG) pulled-back from recent strong performances to lead the equity decliners for the week. Gold remained steady, above US$1,700/oz last week, though a rising Australian dollar saw GOLD fall 2% for the week. Platinum fund ETPMPT gave up some of last week’s gains, falling 2.9%. While leveraged US dollar fund YANK dropped 4.6% as the Australian dollar steamed towards US67c . Total flows into domestically domiciled ETFs were $281m, while outflows totalled $45m. Bearish domestic equity fund BBOZ saw the biggest inflows for the week, followed by GOLD. Domestic cash fund AAA and currency hedge S&P 500 (IHVV) saw the bulk of the week’s outflows. BBOZ was the most traded fund for the week, followed by domestic equity fund VAS. NDQ and OOO saw above average volumes. ETFS EURO STOXX 50 ETF (ESTX), which invests in 50 of the largest companies in the eurozone returned 5.3% for the week. Optimism is rising that the policy response to coronavirus in Europe, including the establishment of an EU recovery fund and the purchasing of riskier assets by the ECB, will see a quicker than expected economic rebound.

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Webinar Recording: Gold - A Precious Metal for Portfolios, 2020

Jun 02, 2020

Recorded on the 27th May 2020. This webinar focuses on the alternative asset that is gold. In this webinar, we discussed: Gold's strategic and tactical place in a portfolio Understanding gold's valuation factors: The short, medium and long-term price drivers Examining the recent rise of gold The future outlook To watch the webinar recording, please click here.

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Weekly ETF Monitor for week ending 22 May 2020

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May 26, 2020

This week's highlights Equity markets returned to risk-on mode last week with cyclical sectors leading the way. Resource (QRE and OZR) and technology (ATEC) sector ETFs were the top domestic performers for the week. U.S. small- and mid-caps (IJR and IJH) along with global property (REIT) were the best performing international equity funds. Asian focused funds (CNEW, PAXX, NDIA, CETF, VAE and IZZ) were all amongst the week’s poorest performers along with gold miners (GDX) Gold stabilised above US$1,700/oz last week, while other precious metals advanced. Platinum fund ETPMPT was one of the week’s top performers, returning 6.9%. Oil continued to rise from its April lows, with OOO returning 10.7% last week. The Australian dollar moved back above US65c . Total flows into domestically domiciled ETFs were $372m, while outflows totalled $91m. Domestic cash fund BILL saw the biggest inflows for the week, followed by bond fund IAF and GOLD. Domestic cash fund AAA saws the bulk of the week’s outflows. Bearish equity fund BBOZ was the most traded fund for the week, followed by domestic equity fund VAS. GOLD saw above average volumes. ETFS Physical Platinum (ETPMPT), which invests in physical platinum bullion, returned 6.9% for the week. Prices are being driven by a combination of rising demand, mainly from China, as vehicle production comes back on line, in contrast to restricted supply caused by mine lockdowns in South Africa, the world’s largest producer.

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Weekly ETF Monitor for week ending 15 May 2020

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May 20, 2020

This week's highlights Equity markets mostly declined last week as the recent rally stalled, though the domestic market ended the week in positive territory. Gold miners (GDX) and biotechnology (CURE) ETFs were the top performing equity funds. Global property funds (REIT and DJRE) were the biggest decliners, followed by U.S. small caps (IJR), banks (BNKS) and global value stocks (VVLU). Precious metals rose across the board, with silver leading the way. ETPMAG gained 10.6% to be the week’s top performing fund, while GOLD rose by 3.8%. Strong U.S. dollar fund YANK was also amongst the top performers. Total flows into domestically domiciled ETFs were $407m, while outflows totalled $124m. Domestic equity fund IOZ saw the biggest inflows for the week, followed by bond fund IAF and STW. Global corporate bond fund IHBC, cash fund ISEC and resources sector fund QRE saw the week’s biggest outflows. IOZ was the most traded fund for the week, followed by bearish equity fund BBOZ. Cash fund BILL saw above average volumes. ETFS Physical Silver (ETPMAG), which invests in physical silver bullion, returned 10.6% for the week. Being a more industrial commodity than gold, silver saw much bigger drawdowns in late-February and early-March as markets reacted to the rapid spread of COVID-19. At that time the ratio of gold to silver prices hit all-time highs. Since bottoming on 19th March, however, ETPMAG has rebounded by 23.7%, compared to 7.6% for GOLD over the same period.

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Trading the greenback

May 18, 2020

Product in focus: ETFS Enhanced USD Cash ETF (ASX Code: ZUSD) Trading the greenback Many investors view cash as part of the defensive, and somewhat static portion of their portfolios, but in uncertain markets it might also be used as a trading tool to act on shorter term views and expectations of currency exchange rates. The US dollar is one such option that investors could consider, using an ETF like the ETFS Enhanced USD Cash ETF (ASX code: ZUSD). ZUSD aims to track the performance of an interest-bearing US dollar cash deposit by investing in US dollar bank deposits with maturities ranging from overnight to three months and earning a variable rate of interest. Using USD as a defensive position Cash typically forms part of a defensive allocation in a portfolio for liquidity and downside protection, with Australian investors typically using the Australian dollar. Much like equities and fixed income, diversifying cash can assist with risk management, particularly in volatile periods. For example, holding currencies other than the Australian dollar might buffer the cash allocation in periods where the Australian dollar is weak. The US dollar often holds appeal to Australian investors as a result of its strength compared to the Australian dollar. AUD/USD 14 May 2015-12 May 2020 The US dollar has traditionally been viewed as a safe-haven asset, with most global central banks keeping it as a reserve currency and many international transactions conducted in the US dollar. The value of the US dollar tends to be less volatile, particularly compared to emerging markets, backed by what is to the most part seen as political and economic stability[1]. Trade your conviction Investors can also use cash investments to make tactical decisions on how they expect a currency to perform. For example, investors who believe the US dollar is likely to appreciate, may increase their cash allocation to the US dollar while those who believe it is likely to depreciate may choose to reduce their allocation. An ETF like ZUSD is a simple and liquid way to trade your convictions on the US dollar, allowing you to move quickly based on your changing market views. It may also be more cost-effective and accessible for some investors when compared to setting up cash deposits internationally or using a currency exchange. Demand for the US dollar globally driven The US dollar is heavily used across the globe. There is more than $13 trillion in US dollar denominated assets held in banks outside the US[2], reflecting approximately 15% of world GDP[3]. Approximately 80% of global trade financed by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is in US dollars (BIS finances 35% of global trade)[4]. The US dollar has also been used by the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) to improve liquidity within the US and other countries by way of swap accords. An example of how this works is as follows: the Fed has an agreement with the Reserve Bank of Australia to exchange US$60 billion of US dollars for Australian dollars and reverses this transaction at a later point in time[5]. The Fed has permanent swap arrangements with the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, European Central Bank and Switzerland but set up temporary relationships at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and Sweden[6]. This has been to support the large demand and tight supply of the US dollar outside the US and has resulted in an increase from US$60 million in the first half of March 2020 in swap activity to nearly US$400 billion at the start of April 2020[7]. Depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, demand for the US dollar – either through swap activity or broader global activity – may put upward pressure on the greenback. Those who believe this is likely may choose to ‘go long’ on the US dollar by taking exposure to it either by buying US dollars or other means, such as ZUSD. Currency exchange and equity markets The exchange rate between the US and Australian dollars correlates negatively with US equity markets as represented by the S&P 500, meaning that the US dollar tends to appreciate against the Australian dollar when the US share market is falling and vice-versa. In other words, the Aussie dollar tends to perform well when markets are rising, which is linked to demand for Australia’s resources-heavy exports. This is demonstrated further in the following charts. As shown in the correlation panel at the bottom of the chart below, across 5 years there is a negative relationship between the movements of the S&P 500 compared to the USD/AUD rate. In periods of more pronounced downturns, the correlation has become more negative, as seen in the global financial crisis and the more recent volatility in March 2020. Long term S&P 500 vs USD/AUD rate (performance in top chart and correlation in bottom chart) Source: Bloomberg, 14 May 2020 To highlight how pronounced that relationship can be the chart below shows a strong negative relationship between the S&P 500 and the USD/AUD rate in the recent months of COVID-19 driven volatility. Short-term S&P 500 v USD/AUD rate (performance in top chart and correlation in bottom chart) Source: Bloomberg, 14 May 2020 An enhanced approach to the US dollar ZUSD tracks the USD/AUD rate and invests in US dollar bank deposits with maturities ranging from overnight to three months and aims to earn a rate above the rate available on overnight deposits. Deposits are held with one or more Authorized Deposit Taking Institutions and earn a variable rate of interest spread across a range of maturities to enhance yield, while maintaining the liquidity of the fund. Generally though, exposure to the US dollar through ZUSD may assist as a buffer against weakness in the Australian dollar and offer diversification in the cash allocation of a portfolio. Alternatively, investors may choose to consider ZUSD as a trading tool for a short-term tilt to access any strength they may anticipate in the US dollar. ZUSD is the only physical US dollar ETF offering quarterly distributions. This may make it appealing to income-focused investors. More information on ZUSD Fund Name ETFS Enhanced USD Cash ETF ASX Code ZUSD Management Fee 0.30% p.a. Distribution Frequency Quarterly For more information on ZUSD, please contact us on: Sales Trading Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: sales@etfsecurities.com.au Phone +61 2 8311 3483 Email: primarymarkets@etfsecurities.com.au

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