Emerging market stocks have been underperforming so far this year and saw further declines on the Fed “tapering” speculation. However, the frontier markets exchange traded fund has experienced robust gains, even surpassing U.S. stocks.
The iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (NYSEArca: FM) has gained 15.0% year-to-date. In comparison, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (NYSEArca: EEM) declined 8.6% so far this year and Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO) is 8.1% lower. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index has increased 13.9% this year. [iShares: Three Reasons Not to Turn Away from Emerging Market ETFs]
The MSCI Frontier Market Index rose 13.3% over the first five months of the year, the best performance for the five month period since the index’s creation five years ago, reports Pan Kwan Yuk for Financial Times. Meanwhile, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index declined 4.4%.
“Using EPFR data, funds classified as frontier have seen inflows this year of close to 20 per cent of assets through April – much more than EM funds have seen (8 per cent of assets),” according to Citi analysts. “So far in May, FMs have seen $250m inflows versus EM outflows of $1.3bn.”
Emerging market stocks hit a six-month low as investors shifted away from these markets on speculation that the Fed would cut back its quantitative easing program, according to BusinessReport. [Single-Country ETFs for Emerging Markets Slammed by Fed Talk]
Turkey shares declined 20% in response to heated protests in Instanbul. [Turkey ETF Down Over 20% in a Month on Protest Fears]
Brazilian stocks have been faltering after stimulus measures failed to meet growth expectations. [Brazil ETFs Lower After Financial Transaction Tax Removed]
Lower commodity prices has depressed Russian stocks – Russia is a major oil exporter. Russia’s “market is struggling to find growth drivers,” Vladimir Bragin, head of research at Alfa Capital, said in a Bloomberg article.