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German ETFs in Focus as Economy Shows Signs of Cooling

Eurozone seems to be caught up in a bad state of affairs with the political and economic turbulence doing the rounds. Adding to the woes in the region were the recently released output numbers from Germany for the July-September quarter, which fell by 0.2% from the previous quarter. More than one-fifth of European Union’s (EU) output is contributed by economic activity in Germany.

This was Germany’s first fall since the first quarter of 2015 and its worst performance since early 2015. The results were a drag on Eurozone’s growth, reported at 0.2% for July-September period, half the pace of the second quarter (read: Cyber Security ETFs to Shine on Robust Earnings).

The fall is largely credited to the auto industry’s troubles with regard to the newly passed tough emission tests. Sep 1 marked the beginning of emission tests for all new models in EU, which is an aftermath of the emission cheating scandal. This affected the major auto makers like Daimler DDAIF and Volkswagen VLKAY to get their cars licensed before Sep 1 due to the stringency involved. Eventually, cars were sold at a discount beforehand leading to a shortfall in the supply side. Additionally, economic growth suffered 0.5 percentage points due to an 8% fall in car production, per consultancy firm Oxford Economics (read: Goldman Sachs Proposes a Eurozone Banks ETF).

Imports were on the rise, with exports and consumer spending falling in the third quarter. Goods exports, accounting for 40% of the country’s GDP, faced headwinds from trade war concerns as China is a major importer of German goods. China’s economy has been hard hit by tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. On the positive side, investments were scaled up by firms in equipment and construction and the quarter saw a rise in government spending (read: China Manufacturing More Than 2-Year Low: ETFs in Focus).

Many economists feel that easing of growth in Germany is a wakeup call for the 19 member Eurozone economy. As the fall was majorly caused due to a temporary setback in the auto industry, the economy is likely to make a comeback over the next quarter. Below we highlight German ETFs that have performed badly over the previous three months (as of Nov 14) (see: all the European Equity ETFs here):

German ETFs in Focus

iShares MSCI Germany ETF EWG

The fund tracks the MSCI Germany Index targeting large and mid-sized companies. It comprises 83 holdings. The fund’s AUM is $2.6 billion and expense ratio is 0.49%. It has lost 6.3% over the past three months and 16.7% year to date.

iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Germany ETF HEWG

The fund tracks the MSCI Germany 100% Hedged to USD Index. It seeks to mitigate the fluctuations between the euro and U.S. dollar value. The fund’s AUM is $278.8 million and expense ratio is 0.53%. It has lost 5.3% over the past three months and 8.3% year to date (read: Will Airlines ETF Keep Gaining Altitude Ahead?).

 First Trust Germany AlphaDEX Fund FGM

The fund tracks the NASDAQ AlphaDEX Germany Index. It comprises 41 holdings, and has AUM worth $172.5 million and an expense ratio of 0.8%. The fund has lost 9.2% over the past three months and 17.2% year to date.

WisdomTree Germany Hedged Equity Fund DXGE

The fund tracks the WisdomTree Germany Hedged Equity Index. It comprises 85 holdings and has AUM worth $64.4 million and an expense ratio of 0.48%. The fund has lost 4.8% over the past three months and 9.5% year to date.

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Daimler AG (DDAIF): Free Stock Analysis Report
Volkswagen AG (VLKAY): Free Stock Analysis Report
ISHA-CH MS GERM (HEWG): ETF Research Reports
WISDMTR-GER HEF (DXGE): ETF Research Reports
ISHARS-GERMANY (EWG): ETF Research Reports
FT-GERMANY (FGM): ETF Research Reports
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