Economists and market participants often say it takes a quarter or two, sometimes longer, for the impact of interest rate cuts to take shape within an economy. However, financial markets live in an up-to-the-minute world. Traders want results and they want those results now, not in a few months.
The need for immediate gratification could explain why some have been flummoxed by the lackluster responses by select ETFs to a recent spate of interest rate reductions. Central banks from Australia to India to Israel to Poland and a batch of others have been lowering borrowing costs.
Investors can find some comfort in knowing ETFs tracking those countries may eventually reap the rewards of lower rates. For now, the following ETFs look to be in post-rate cut funks.
iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWA)
On May 7, the Reserve Bank of Australia lowered that country’s overnight cash rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 2.75%. That rate cut, latest in a long line dating back to 2011, was in part prompted by the Australian dollar’s continued strength against the U.S. dollar and other major currencies. The rate cut had the part of the desired impact as AUD/USD has since fallen below parity.
However, things have been different at the equity level. Amid some troubling signs for the Australian economy and slack Chinese data points, EWA has fallen 5.6% since the rate cut. [ETFs For Australia]
iShares MSCI South Korea Capped Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWY)