ETF Spotlight on iShares MSCI Canada (NYSEArca: EWC), part of a weekly series. Assets: $2.9 billion

Objective: Seeks to track the MSCI Canada index, minus fees and expenses

Holdings: Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY), Toronto Dominion Bank (NYSE: TD), and Suncor Energy (NYSE: SU) round out the fund’s top holdings; the financial sector makes up 34% of EWC; energy is 26.7% and materials are 18.3%.

What You Should Know

  • This is the only Canada-focused ETF available
  • It has 100 holdings
  • The expense ratio is 0.55%
  • EWC was up 51% last year, and is up 85.8% since the market’s March 9 low

The Latest News

  • Like most developed markets, Canada has not been immune to the global economic crisis. The country’s banks emerged from the fiasco relatively unscathed, but they face a new round of potential problems: consumers could have trouble meeting their debt obligations, which may strain the banks. [5 Reasons 2010 Looks Promising for Canada.]
  • The country has a strong track record of balanced budgets, and its latest one will be unveiled on March 4. Canada’s bonds are rallying as a result, says BusinessWeek.
  • In  a Re/Max Market Trends survey of 16 markets in Canada, fears about rising interest rates and new lending rules have lured new homebuyers out earlier than usual. [3 Reasons for Optimism in Canada.]
  • Canada’s agriculture sector could get a boost, thanks to improving livestock prices and increased fertilizer demand. [Canada’s Olympics Close-Up.]

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