Feb 25, 2019
This week's highlights Globally, Chinese stocks rebounded last week as well as throughout Asia. Reporting season continued to see mixed results for Australia and the U.S. VanEck’s China focused ETFs CNEW and CETF lead the performance tables for the week. The ETFS Physical Platinum (ETPMPT) was the top performing commodity ETF for the week. Global and domestic bear products were the worst performers over the week as global and domestic markets continued their upward trend from January’s strong rally. Looking longer term, ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) remains the best performer over 12 months with 57.1% return. The physically backed metal has now reached over US$1,400/oz. Total flows for the week were dominated by cash and fixed income products including AAA, IAF and PLUS. With the ETF market seeing positive inflows of $50.3 million . Trading volumes were again highest among beta ETFs, with Magellan’s MGE making the top 10 for the week.
Feb 19, 2019
This week's highlights Global stocks gained last week with energy, industrials and materials sectors outperforming as U.S./China trade talks progressed. VanEck Vectors China New Economy ETF (CNEW) and ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO) were the top performing unleveraged equity funds for the week. High growth plays including RBTZ, CURE and IJR also posted strong gains. Domestic financial sector ETFs were amongst the week's worst-performers as the post-Royal Commission bounce receded; MVB, OZF and QFN all dropped more than 1.4%. Commodity ETFs were mixed with OOO returning 5.4% on reports of lower global oil production. Precious metals mostly declined modestly, with the exception of palladium (ETPMPD), which continued to hit new highs on growing demand and tight supply. Total flows into domestically domiciled ETFs were $54m for the week, while outflows totalled $22m. The week's largest inflows were into a mix of funds including CNEW, BBOZ, HBRD and FAIR. The largest outflows were from GEAR, IEU and IJH. Trading volume was dominated by the usual suspects; STW, VAS, IVV and AAA, with above average trading seen in NDQ, BBOZ and QOZ. ETFS S&P Biotech ETF (CURE) continues to be 2019’s top performing unleveraged equity fund, having gained 18.6% YTD.
Feb 12, 2019
This week's highlights The fallout from the Royal Commission was the biggest driver of domestic equity returns last week as most financial stocks rebounded. Financial sector ETFs (OZF, QFN and MVB) all returned in excess of 6% for the week. Bank-heavy domestic dividend-focused ETFs also performed strongly with SYI, FDIV, RDV, ZYAU and VHY all returning more than 4%. Global equities were broadly negative for the week. BetaShares WisdomTree Japan ETF (HJPN), which fell 2.0%, was the poorest performing broad-based international equity fund for the week. The Australian dollar saw significant movement last week, dropping nearly 2c against the US$. YANK returned 6.3%, while AUDS fell 5.2%. Unleveraged funds ZUSD and USD both returned more than 2%. Precious metals continued to outperform, with ETFS Physical Gold (GOLD) up 2.1% and ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) adding a further 4.3%, taking its 12 month total return to nearly 55%. Oil declined, with OOO dropping 3%. Total flows into domestically domiciled ETFs were $87m for the week, while outflows totalled $61m. The week’s largest inflows were into VanEck’s domestic property and equally-weighted equity funds (MVA and MVW), while the biggest outflows were from QPON and A200. Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) was the most traded ETF last week, well-exceeding its long-term average turnover. Vanguard MSCI Index International Series (Hedged) (VGAD) also saw notable activity. Three of ETF Securities’ Future Present range of ETFs (CURE, TECH and ROBO) have returned more than 10% YTD in a sign that growth stocks are returning to favour.
Feb 05, 2019
This week's highlights Mining and resources stocks rallied strongly last week. VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) was the top performing fund for the second week running, returning 5.1%, followed closely by BetaShares Global Gold Miners ETF (MNRS). Domestic resource sector ETFs (QRE, OZR ad MVR) were also amongst the top performers. Domestic financial sector ETFs fell in advance of the release of the Hayne Royal Commission findings this week; MVB, OZF and QFN all dropped more than 3.5%. Commodity ETFs generally had a strong week with oil (OOO), hedged gold (QAU) and silver (ETPMAG) all amongst the top performers. All five ETF Securities’ precious metals funds posted positive returns for the week. Total flows into domestically domiciled ETFs were $193m for the week, while outflows totalled only $10m. The weeks largest inflows were into domestic equities (IOZ), A$ cash (BILL) and iShares Global Consumer Staples ETF (IXI). Major domestic benchmark ETFs dominated trading volume last week. IXI, IAF, BILL and IXJ all seeing above average trading levels. ETFS S&P Biotech ETF (CURE) has returned 13.0% in 2019 to-date, making it the top performing unleveraged equity ETF.
Jan 30, 2019
This week's highlights Global stocks were mixed last week with gold miners, real estate and non-Japan Asia outperforming. VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) was the top performing fund for the week, returning 3.7%, followed by iShares MSCI South Korea Capped ETF (IKO) at 3.5%. Global energy and healthcare funds were amongst the poorest performers with FUEL, IXJ, CURE and DRUG all posting negative weeks. Australian financial sector ETFs also declined. Inflows were also mixed with money moving into both long and short domestic equity funds (BBOZ, STW and EX20), global infrastructure (IFRA) and multifactor ETFs (WDMF and EMKT). Outflows were primarily from domestic financial sectors (QFN), geared equity funds (GEAR and GGUS) and Europe (IEU). Both BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (AAA) and BetaShares Australian Bank Snr Floating Rate Bond ETF (QPON) saw significant trading volume last week, while volumes in major equity benchmarks were well below longer-term averages.
Aug 22, 2017
ETFS S&P/ASX 300 High Yield Plus ETF (ZYAU) In this week’s ETF Securities trade idea we look at dividend yield strategies and how they can be used in different ways depending on the investor's goals. Dividend strategies can be implemented in different ways to achieve different goals, which have their own pros and cons. Beware of dividend traps, chasing yield may lead to poor investment choices. Capital growth versus income generation – don’t sacrifice one for the other.
Aug 09, 2017
Is AUD/USD risk on the downside? ETFS S&P 500 High Yield Low Volatility ETF (ZYUS) Key Teakeaways: The AUD/USD exchange rate is currently close to 2 year highs, at just below US 80c. US rate expectations pulled back in July as political developments have cast uncertainty over the pace of US reforms and growth. Investors with a view that the USD is undervalued or the AUD is overvalued can play a reversal via ZUSD, which is the most cost effective way to access direct US dollar exposure with an ETF. A declining USD has been the key theme in foreign exchange markets this year. The AUD has gained more than 8% from its mid-May lows, while the US Dollar Index (DXY), a measure of the value of the USD against a collection of major world currencies, has dropped nearly 7% over the same period. As shown in Figure 1 the recent appreciation of the AUD has been particularly steep, with the currency peaking at US 80.66c in late July, while the DXY has been in a downward trend for most of 2017, falling over 10% from its peak in the final days of 2016. Chaotic administration weighing on the US dollar. With the Russia investigation, continual changes in key personnel and failures to negotiate Congress, the Trump administration is failing to meet the lofty expectations set by the market last November. Whilst the Fed is now considered likely to raise rates only once more this year, the US economy is generally in good health. US 10 year treasury yields have fallen by just over 10 basis points since the start of July, suggesting that the long-term monetary policy outlook is relatively unchanged. With temporary factors and uncertainty being the main drivers of the lower dollar, a swift reversal is a possible scenario if confidence is restored. Last Friday’s US employment numbers, which exceeded analyst expectations, were an example, with the DXY jumping 0.75% almost immediately. RBA talking AUD down. The strength of the AUD has in part been a result of a shift in the expected direction of the RBA’s next rate move. However, the RBA last week noted that the higher currency is a concern for growth and cut its estimates for 2017 GDP growth by 0.5%. Further validation of a slowdown could quickly shift AUD sentiment to a bearish stance. What does this mean for investors? Investors wishing to express a bullish USD/bearish AUD view may consider the ETFS Physical US Dollar ETF (ZUSD) . ZUSD offers exposure to an appreciation of the USD against the AUD with a management fee of 0.30% per annum, making it the most cost effective ETF offering this exposure in Australia.
Jul 06, 2017
European monetary policy in the spotlight ETFS EURO STOXX 50® ETF (ESTX) Key Takeaway: Despite Draghi’s hawkish statements, Europe’s economic indicators still point to a strong continuing recovery with levels over and above Australia, the US and the UK. In this week’s ETF Securities trade idea we look at key economic indicators released in June across the eurozone as well as looking ahead to the potential end of monetary stimulus, as hinted by the European Central Bank last week, and what that means. Manufacturing in the Eurozone - In June manufacturing in the eurozone continued to expand at pace, with Markit’s eurozone manufacturing PMI indicator of factory activity moving to its highest level since April 2011, pointing to a significant increase in GDP growth in Q2. Germany led the way, but even Greece showed signs of expansion during the month. Composite PMI, combining manufacturing and services, dipped, but remained strong, as shown in Figure 1. Eurozone GDP Growth for Q1 2017 was at 0.6% for the quarter, well above the levels seen in the UK at 0.2%, the US at 0.45% and Australia at 0.3%. In an annual basis, as shown in Figure 2, the eurozone had gained significant ground in recent years. Unemployment held firm at 9.3% in May. While the headline rate is still historically high, it has decreased by a full percentage point in just 15 months and is down from a peak of 12.1% less than four years ago, as shown in Figure 3. Inflation figures released at the end of last week disappointed and clouded the picture somewhat. Headline CPI fell back to 1.3% in June, having peaked at 2.0% in February, as shown in Figure 4. Core CPI, which exclude the volatile energy segment, rose to 1.1% providing some evidence for those looking to frame a reflationary argument. The end of monetary stimulus in the eurozone? Hawkish comments from ECB president, Mario Draghi, last week hinted at the end of monetary stimulus in the eurozone. Although the implications were later watered-down, the market’s reaction to the possibility of near-term tapering was reminiscent of the 2013 US taper tantrum; the euro leapt to a 16 month high, German 10 year Bund yields rose to an 18 month high and the EURO STOXX 50 dropped 2.9% for the week. Sustainability The episode has raised questions as to whether the region’s recovery is sustainable or a result of the extraordinary stimulus measures implemented over the past two years. Cautious statements that followed suggest that stimulus will remain in place for some time, which should be positive for equity markets. Alternatively, as shown in Figure 1, a rising-rate environment has also historically coincided with strong equity market performance over the longer-term. What does this mean for investors? Investors wishing to take a view and add Europe to their portfolio may consider using ETFS EURO STOXX 50® ETF (ESTX), the only ETF in Australia tracking Europe’s leading blue-chip index. ESTX offers unhedged exposure to the eurozone with a management fee of 0.35% per annum.
Jun 22, 2017
Palladium on the move? ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) In this week’s ETF Securities trade idea we examine the drivers behind palladium’s recent price run (up 30% YTD) and look at whether it has further to go. We identify four key points to consider: Palladium’s major use is in autocatalysts used in emission reduction equipment in gasoline cars and its main suppliers are South Africa and Russia Demand for gasoline vehicles is on the rise in key markets such as China and India and diesel demand is declining globally Electric vehicle demand is yet to reach sufficient scale to impact palladium prices significantly Speculative positioning in palladium is high, but not excessive Palladium is a metal used mainly in pollution abatement equipment. Approximately 80% of palladium is used in autocatalysts to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. There are higher loadings of palladium in gasoline cars than there are in diesel cars. Diesel cars have higher loadings of platinum (which performs a similar role to palladium, but its more suited to diesel engines which operate at lower temperatures). About 40% of platinum demand comes from autocatalysts. About 40% of mine supply of palladium comes from South Africa and another 40% comes from Russia. Historically, the Russian government had been selling its stockpiles of the metal, but there has not been any metal from this source since 2013. There is no transparent data on whether the Russian government has more stocks to sell. Palladium has appreciated by 30.0% in US dollar terms in 2017-to-date and, as shown in Figure 1, is approaching parity with platinum for the first time since 2002. Consumer preferences have tilted towards gasoline vehicles away from diesel, which accounts for much of the rise in demand for palladium relative to platinum. The automobile growth in markets like China, India and other emerging markets is a key area of strength. These are generally gasoline markets. These countries are also tightening emission standards which will increase the loading requirements of palladium. Established diesel markets like Europe are not seeing automobile growth on the same scale and regulatory fall-out from the emissions scandal and technological advancements have further tilted demand away from diesel. Electric vehicles (EVs) are growing rapidly from a small base. While electric vehicles account for less than 1% of global sales today, consensus estimates that it will rise to 4% by 2025. Most EVs do not contain palladium and so the growth of this type of vehicle will reduce a source of demand. We don’t think that the growth of EVs will materially change the supply-demand balance for palladium in the next couple of years, but will do as the market continues to grow. Speculative positioning in the futures market is elevated, as shown in Figure 2. Net longs are above their 5 year historic average but are still well below 2013-2014 levels when concerns about mine supply were aggravated by strikes in South Africa. Supply is subject to abrupt changes. Mine closures due to strike activity, embargoes of exports from certain countries and recycling dependency on other metals are some of the examples of factors that cause supply disruptions. While changes in demand can be quite surprising, as we have seen with the rotation toward palladium (gasoline engines) from platinum (diesel engines) in light of the emission scandal, generally changes in demand are more gradual. Investors wishing to add palladium exposure to their portfolios may consider using ETFS Physical Palladium (ASX Code: ETPMPD), the only ETP in Australia providing investors with physical exposure to the metal. ETPMPD offers holders a direct entitlement to palladium vaulted at HSBC in Switzerland with a management fee of 0.49% per annum.
Jun 07, 2017
Silver lining investment theme Trade idea – ETFS Physical Silver ETF (ETPMAG) Gold vs silver ratio – indicates that silver is undervalued o Has averaged 62.63 since 1980 (as of 24 May 2017) o Currently widened to 73.49 (as of 24 May 2017) o 1x standard deviation above the long term average (as of 22 May 2017) Positive economics - a combination of higher inflation, a weakening US dollar (in first half of 2017) and improving manufacturing growth is likely to see silver prices trading higher. Is silver trading below fair value? Historically the ratio difference between gold and silver has been an interesting investment indicator of market direction. The gold vs silver ratio graph below identifies a potential trading theme. The graph indicates that when the ratio falls below the historic average line it could show gold as being below fair value relative to silver. On the reverse, when the ratio trades above the historical ratio average, like it is now, silver could be trading below fair value relative to gold. Positive price movements The Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (“PMI”) is sitting at a current high of 54.4, previously unseen since March 2011. In our view, the high PMI may indicate a potential increase in manufacturing activity and therefore a further potential positive move for the silver price in 2017. However, it should be noted that if we saw a global slowdown in manufacturing or a hawkish view from the US FED, this could potentially have a negative impact on the current price of silver and impact the gold vs silver ratio trading theme. Increasing demand Silver has a wide and growing range of uses globally, which could help further stimulate demand and create a positive move in the silver price; examples of silver’s growing uses include printed circuit board manufacturing, healthcare and the production of solar panels. ETF Securities research team give silver a 2017 fair value level of US$21/oz – for further information visit the ETF Securities Research Blog.