Buoyant economic data out of China and the Eurozone have helped ignite ETFs with exposure to those countries, but some sector funds with leverage to those themes are going overlooked. That includes the Guggenheim Shipping ETF (NYSEArca: SEA), which some traders have previously used as a proxy for the Baltic Dry Index.
The Baltic Dry Index measures the daily charter rates for shipping 23 different commodities across the globe, so the index can be viewed as an important gauge of global economic health. It is not, however, the underlying index tracked by SEA. SEA tracks the Dow Jones Global Shipping Index. Importantly, that index “measures the stock performance of high dividend-paying companies in the global shipping industry,” according to Guggenheim. It is that emphasis on dividend stocks that gives SEA a decent 30-day SEC yield of 3.35%.
The yield is nice, but SEA’s recent performance has been even better. In just the past week, SEA has gained nearly 5%. One catalyst was “an 8.1% increase in Chinese iron ore imports, giving analysts plenty of good vibes over steel output in China and, in turn, the demand for vessels needed to ship it,” reports Brian Pacampara for the Motley Fool.
Adding to the bull case for SEA is a favorable view of China’s steel imports. “Steel production in China is defying a seasonal slowdown in prices, allowing mills to absorb high iron ore imports. As long as high steel prices offer attractive margins for steel mills, there is room for strong imports,” said Morgan Stanley, according to Motley Fool. [ETF Chart of the Day: Shipping]
Although China is important part of the perception of surrounding SEA, the reality is the ETF is not heavily allocated to the country, though SEA does have a 14.3% weight to Hong Kong. The U.S. and Denmark combine for nearly 43% of the ETF’s weight. When accounting for SEA’s exposure to Denmark, Hong Kong, Singapore and Norway, over 43% of the fund’s country exposure goes to nations with AAA credit ratings. [Shipping ETF Riding a Wave]