Asia Region ETFs Succumb to Selling Pressure

by: Steven Towns

iShares Asia region country-based ETFs fell across the board last week, after two weeks of broad gains, with Friday's down market exacerbating losses. iPath ETN MSCI India (NYSEARCA:INP) declined for the first time in five weeks, while iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 (NYSEARCA:FXI) gave back all of its recent gains.

iPath ETN India, -2.7%, fared better than other regional funds considering the potential downside if there were heavy profit-taking. INP is still up almost 100% for the year.

iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 remained the second-best performer among the funds surveyed, but its 9.5% loss last week shaved its ytd return to under 54%.

iShares Malaysia (NYSEARCA:EWM) lost the least last week, -2.5%, but its ytd return slipped below 40% again. EWM has been among the best regional performers the past two weeks.

iShares Japan (NYSEARCA:EWJ) was among the biggest decliners, falling nearly 7% on the week and now down by a similar amount for the year. EWJ had returned to positive territory the week prior. Meanwhile, iShares Taiwan (NYSEARCA:EWT) dropped 8.8% and is barely in positive territory ytd (+1.0%).

Monday (12/17) Asian Market Summary: Markets Drop Sharply

See the chart below for last week's results. There are two sets of returns for each ETF: the past week [light blue] and year-to-date [purple].

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

Click to enlarge chart

Disclosure: The author does not own shares of any funds mentioned in this article.

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

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