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An exchange traded fund indexed to Canadian stocks has been under pressure during the global equities sell-off with miner shares providing an additional headwind.

Despite the slowdown in the U.S. and the financial crisis in Europe, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada’s economy should continue to grow.

The iShares MSCI Canada (NYSEARCA:EWC) holds assets of about $4.6 billion. EWC can be used as a proxy for a commodities play, while giving added diversification benefits.

EWC allocates about 13.2% of assets to the gold mining sector and Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) is a top holding. The ETF is down 17.4% year to date, according to Morningstar.

Harper announced he is ready to take appropriate action on the country’s budget if necessary, in order to keep growth sustained, reports the Vancouver Sun.

Harper says the fragile global economy and the slowdown in the U.S. is no secret and that the Canadian government is watching the developments closely. Harper’s agenda for the Canadian budget includes job creation, making targeted investments and eliminating the deficit.

Meanwhile the Canadian Finance Minister remarked that the Eurozone debt crisis is serious and there is frustration that is justified in the G-20 nations over the “lack of political decisiveness” in Europe dealing with Greece. Canada will support credible medium-term fiscal consolidation plans in countries with large deficits, reports Nirmala Menon for The Wall Street Journal.

iShares MSCI Canada ETF (EWC)

click to enlarge

ewc-canada-etf

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

Disclosure: None

Source: Canada ETF Falls Along With Gold Miner Stocks