The euro has lost nearly 20% of its value against the U.S. dollar since November because of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. This makes European exporters a lot more competitive on world markets and worth considering for investment, say some analysts.
Many of the exporters have ADRs trading on U.S. exchanges. Another way to gain exposure, without all the work of sorting through a dozen or more ADRs, is through the iShares MSCI Germany Index ETF (NYSEARCA:EWG).
It is filled with big exporters like Siemens (SI), SAP (NYSE:SAP) and ThyssenKrupp (OTCPK:TYEKF), notes James B. Stewart of SmartMoney.com. An added plus: unlike most other European ETF, it does not give a lot of weight to the still risky stocks of financial companies and BP plc (NYSE:BP).
Vincenzo Sciarretta, author of Invest in Europe Now! Why Europe’s Markets Will Outperform the US in the Coming Years, likes German stocks, too. He asks:
Germany used to be the champion of exports when the euro was at $1.60 (U.S.). Can you imagine what happens at [$1.23 (U.S.)]?
The German economy has long been competitive thanks to the engineering know-how of its workforce. And a 17% decline in labor costs relative to major trading partners since 1995 has added more competitiveness (according to a study by BCA Research). Now the declining euro has amplified competitiveness even more.