The past week was all about Turkey crisis.President Trump lately tweeted that he has doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on the country. Turkey is currently facing U.S. sanctions for its arrest of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson in 2016.
In reply, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan came up with a non-conciliatory tone against the United States. Plus, Turkey has extended its relationship with Russia and Iran; both countries' relationship with the United States are not seamless at present. Turkish lira was massively battered to a record low. The crisis in the currency makes it pricier for Turkish borrowers to pay back foreign-currency loans (read: Currency ETFs Winners & Losers on Turkey Crisis ).
The issue had a spiraling effect on the global market with emerging market (EM) currencies following the course of the lira's downward spiral. There was lack of confidence in EM assets. The MSCI Emerging Market Currency Index nosedived to its lowest in more than a year . Overall global markets went into a tailspin. Investors sought safety to U.S. safe haven sectors (read: Most-Hurt EM ETFs on Turkey Upheaval ).
However, all was not bad last week. So far, the year was overpowered by U.S.-China trade tensions. But then there was news that the United States and China are ready to restart trade talks or negotiations next week to prevent a full-blown trade war. So, "the first such meeting since July. It helped recover many spaces that were hurt by an acute trade war fear (read: 5 Sector ETFs Most Exposed to Trade Tensions )."
Against this backdrop, let's take a look which sector ETFs topped and the ones that flopped last week.
Trade tensions and Turkey crisis boosted this non-cyclical consumer sectors. First Trust Consumer Staples AlphaDEX ETF FXG and Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF XLP advanced more than 3% in the week (read: Wal-Mart Blockbuster Q2 Earnings Pushes Consumer ETFs Higher ).
Though the sector underperforms in a rising rate environment, investors favored the space past week. This shows investors inclination for safe and high-yielding sectors. After all, an improving U.S. economy should bode well for real estates. iShares Residential Real Estate Capped ETF REZ and Invesco KBW Premium Yield Eq REIT ETF KBWY added more than 3% in the past week. KBWY yields 6.59% while REZ yields 3.38% annually.
News of a conciliatory summit between the United States and China pushed soybean prices higher lately. This will be the first meeting of its kind since July. Teucrium Soybean ETF SOYB added about 2.9%(read: US Farm Belt at Risk on China Tariffs: ETFs in Focus ).
Gold price is on a downhill ride thanks to a stronger dollar. As a result, gold mining stocks and ETFs too lost luster. Sprott Gold Miners ETF SGDM , VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF GDXJ and ALPS Sprott Junior Gold Miners ETF SGDJ all lost about 7% past week (as of Aug 17, 2018).
Chinese stocks touched about a two-year low on Aug 17 as healthcare shares slumped after the sacking of officials over a vaccine scandal in the country, per Financial Times. Regulators noted last month that "vaccine maker Changsheng Biotech had forged data during the production of 110,000 rabies vaccines and sold more than 250,000 substandard vaccines against other diseases." Overall KraneShares MSCI All China Health Care ETF KURE shed about 4.5% past week.
Among several commodities that fell prey to U.S.-China trade tensions, copper seems to deserve a mention. Copper futures for September delivery dropped to as low as $2.552 per pound, marking their lowest level since June 2017. Almost six-month-long trade war talks between the United States and China and a strong dollar weighed on the metal. According to experts, copper's decline means a looming surge in volatility in risk assets like equities , as quoted on CNBC. Global X Copper Miners ETF COPX lost about 4.5%.
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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report SPDR-CONS STPL (XLP): ETF Research Reports VANECK-JR GOLD (GDXJ): ETF Research Reports FT-CONSUMR STP (FXG): ETF Research Reports SPROTT-GOLD MNR (SGDM): ETF Research Reports SPROTT-JR GLD M (SGDJ): ETF Research Reports TEUCRM-SOYBEAN (SOYB): ETF Research Reports GLBL-X COPPER (COPX): ETF Research Reports PWRSH-K PY REIT (KBWY): ETF Research Reports ISHARS-RES RE (REZ): ETF Research Reports KRANS-MS CHN HC (KURE): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report