Japan and gold

ETFs that invest in Japan have also been very popular this year as the Nikkei rallied and the Bank of Japan attempted to stimulate inflation. However, WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity (NYSEArca: DXJ) and iShares MSCI Japan (NYSEArca: EWJ) have come under pressure recently after a huge rally. [Popular WisdomTree ETF Down Nearly 20% on Japan Pullback, Yen]

On a global basis, Japan equity ETPs gathered a monthly record $10.2 billion during May. Year-to-date flows have also reached record-setting territory at $23.1 billion, or 22.9% of all equity ETP flows. The pace of Japan ETP flows so far in 2013 is already more than double the levels seen annually in both 2011 and 2012, BlackRock said.

Conversely, gold exchange traded products such as SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) have seen heavy outflows in 2013 on the precious metal’s price correction. Gold ETFs are also losing assets on a stronger U.S. dollar, expectations the Federal Reserve could pull back on stimulus, and lower demand for safe havens and inflation hedges.

Global gold ETPs had outflows of $5.7 billion in May, bringing the year-to-date total to $23.9 billion. Total assets in gold ETPs globally shrank to $96.2 billion, a decrease of 31.9% from the $141.2 billion at year-end 2012, according to BlackRock. [Gold Caught in Tug-of-War Between ETF Selling, Coin Purchases]

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD.