iShares Asia Region ETFs Weekly and YTD Returns

 |  Includes: EWA, EWM, FXI
by: Steven Towns

Asian markets as a whole continue to outperform the S&P 500. There was some weakness among the China and Taiwan ETFs last week due to their markets being closed for the Chinese New Year holiday.

From the chart below it is evident Australia led all Asia region ETFs as its S&P/ASX 200 benchmark index reached an all-time high, spurred by renewed strength in gold.

Click to enlarge chart


On a year-to-date basis, Malaysia and Singapore have clearly been the frontrunners, with solid returns also coming out of Australia and Japan.

The obvious laggard on both a weekly and year-to-date basis is the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 (NYSEARCA:FXI) index. The debate rages on whether China is a bubble, or not, and if it is time to run for the exits, or plow more money in.

In the chart, the bars for the iShares S&P 500 index (NYSEARCA:IVV) are colored differently for comparative purposes.

Overnight, the Shanghai Composite added 1.4% to 3,041, the Hang Seng lost 1% to 20,508, and the Nikkei 225 had a modest gain of 0.15% to 18,215.

Here is a list of the relevant ETFs and their tickers.

    iShares Australia (NYSEARCA:EWA)
    iShares Pacific ex-Japan (NYSEARCA:EPP)
    iShares Singapore (NYSEARCA:EWS)
    iShares S.Korea (NYSEARCA:EWY)
    iShares Japan (NYSEARCA:EWJ)
    iShares Malaysia (NYSEARCA:EWM)
    iShares S&P 500 (IVV)
    iShares Hong Kong (NYSEARCA:EWH)
    iShares Taiwan (NYSEARCA:EWT)
    iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 (FXI)

Disclosure: The author owns iShares Japan call options.