The Euro zone has seen modest GDP growth for another quarter,
accelerating 0.3% in Q4, on the heels of rising exports and
investments. This marks an improvement from the previous quarter's
growth of 0.1% and indicates that the worst might be over for this
Slovenia led the way for Q4 growth at 1.2%, followed by the two
largest economies - Germany and France - which expanded 0.4% and
0.3%, respectively (read:
Is This a Better Europe ETF?
Manufacturing and service activity, as depicted by Markit's Flash
Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index, rose to 53.3 in
February from 52.9 in January. This marks the fastest growth in
nearly three years. Unemployment across the Euro zone remained
unchanged at the near-record high of 12%.
Inflation has stabilized over the past three months at 0.8% but is
much below the European Central Bank (ECB) target of under 2.0%.
Though this reflects a prolonged period of low inflation, it
reduces fears of the deflationary conditions.
However, consumer confidence in the region unexpectedly dropped to
-12.7 in February from -11.7 in January, as per the flash estimate
by the European Commission. This represents the first decline in
All the data indicates to a slow but steady recovery for the single
currency bloc. The European Commission last month raised the Euro
zone's GDP growth outlook from 1.1% to 1.2% for this year. Most of
the growth will likely come from Germany (1.8%), France (1%) and
Italy (0.6%) (read:
Ride Europe Higher with This Top Ranked ETF
Driven by optimism in the Euro zone recovery, the ECB kept its rate
unchanged at 0.25% last week. The news propelled the European
stocks higher and strengthened the euro against the basket of major
currencies. As a result, the ETFs tracking these countries are also
Below, we have highlighted three ETFs that gained near double
digits over the trailing one-month and are crushing the Euro zone
all the European ETFs here
iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF (
This fund provides exposure to Irish stocks by tracking the MSCI
All Ireland Capped Index and has accumulated $162.5 million in AUM.
It charges 48 bps in fees per year from investors and trades in low
average daily volume of less than 42,000 shares. The fund holds 24
securities with heavy concentration in the top three firms - CRH
Plc, Kerry Group and Bank of Ireland - as these make up for a
combined 44% of assets.
Additionally, the product is skewed toward materials at roughly
26%, while consumer staples and industrials take the next two
spots. The Ireland ETF added over 10% over the trailing one month
and has a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 or 'Buy' rating (read:
Euro Zone Recovery Puts Ireland ETF in Focus
iShares MSCI Belgium Capped ETF (
This fund targets the Belgian market and tracks the MSCI Belgium
IMI 25/50 Index. Holding 43 stocks in its basket, the product has
some concentration issues as Anheuser-Busch accounts for 21.6% of
the portfolio while other firms do not hold more than 8.2% share.
Further, the fund is tilted toward consumer staples and financial
sectors with just under 30% share each.
The ETF is often overlooked by investors, as it has accumulated
just $74 million in its asset base. The fund trades in average
daily volume of nearly 64,000 shares while charges 48 bps in annual
fees and expenses. Over the past months, EWK has been up nearly
9.1% and has a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 or 'Buy' rating.
Global X FTSE Portugal 20 ETF (
This product provides concentrated exposure to the biggest 20
Portuguese stocks and follows the FTSE Portugal 20 Index. The fund
has amassed $15.7 million since its debut four months ago. Volume
is light at under 18,000 shares a day and expense ratio came in at
2014: The Year of the Portugal ETF?
The fund is heavily concentrated on the top firm - EDP - at under
20% of total assets, closely followed by Galp Energia (13.56%) and
Jeronimo Martins (10.97%). From a sector perspective, utilities and
consumer staples dominate the fund's portfolio at nearly 24% and
19%, respectively. The ETF has gained nearly 10% in the trailing
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ISHARS-MS IRLND (EIRL): ETF Research Reports
ISHARS-BELGIUM (EWK): ETF Research Reports
GLBL-XF PORTG20 (PGAL): ETF Research Reports
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